Dysplasia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments

Dysplasia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments post thumbnail image

Dysplasia is a terminology used in pathology, it refers to the development of abnormal cells in various parts of the body which lead to the tissues being enlarged or lead to the development of pre-cancer cells. Dysplasia consists of the immature cells expanding and a decrease in the location and number of the mature cells. Adults mostly experience dysplasia linking towards the increase in the number of the immature cells. In children, developmental dysplasia is common. There are different risk factors involved in different types of dysplasia. Diagnosing the disease is the main step towards the treatment. To prevent a few types of dysplasia, avoiding the risk factors is suggested.


Dysplasia can occur with other disorders and in any part of the body. There are more than hundreds of types of dysplasia. The most common of these types are as follows:

Developmental Dysplasia

Dysplasia may be present in the child at the foetal stages. Dysplasia in children is usually developmental. An early diagnosis and treatment can lead to the avoidance of risks and problems in the future.

Hip Dysplasia also knew as a developmental disorder of the hip (DDH) means that the hip socket is not covering or supporting the leg bone and is not in the right place. It also means that the hip joint is not of the right shape. This causes a lot of wear and tear to each and every part of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip joint in the development of the early stages of the foetus. The conditions worsen as the child grows older. The ball and socket joint in the hip of the child might also dislocate sometimes. This means that the ball will slip out of the socket when the child moves. The joint may even completely disjoint sometimes.

Skeletal Dysplasia is related to the conditions that affect the growth of the cartilage and the bones in a child. Many people may refer to skeletal dysplasia as dwarfism. A child born with skeletal dysplasia will have an unusual difference in the shape and the size of their skull, trunk, arms and legs. Their limbs may not also be in the right proportion to the rest of the body. Skeletal dysplasia is a genetic disorder. It is caused by a genetic mutation. Every type of skeletal dysplasia is very rare. Children with the genetic disorder might be of short stature.

Ectodermal Dysplasia is the type of dysplasia that affects the hair, skin, sweat glands and the nails of a child. Ectodermal Dysplasia has more than 150 types. These types of dysplasia can be passed on from a parent to their child as they are hereditary in nature. There are many symptoms of ectodermal dysplasia such as Alopecia or the loss of all hair from the body and the scalp, lack of sweat glands in the body, missing fingernails, palate or cleft lip. A few types of ectodermal dysplasia may be noticeable at birth, while many others might take longer to be diagnosed.

Dysplasia as abnormal growth

Dysplasia in adults refers to growth abnormalities of cells or tissues in the body. If these cells continue to grow, they can result in tumours. Dysplasia can take place in any tissue of the body. These are the few most common forms of growth-related dysplasia that are found in adults:

Cervical Dysplasia is the condition where the cells of the cervix undergo some unusual changes. The abnormal cells in cervical dysplasia are not cancerous, but they can turn into cancer if they are not diagnosed and treated in proper time. A low-grade dysplasia has a slow progression and heals by itself. A high-grade dysplasia, on the other hand, may lead to cervical cancer. Cervical dysplasia is most commonly noticed in females between the ages of 25 and 35. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus which is the cause of cervical dysplasia. The virus is sexually transmitted and has many risks attached to it. Some risks are of low levels and might just cause genital warts. Cervical Dysplasia is hard to notice, usually, it is noticed during a regular Pap test. Pap test will show a squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) or wear and tear of tissues also known as dysplasia. Many times, the SIL disappear on its own, the doctors suggest regular Pap tests to monitor the cell growth and changes in cells closely. Laser surgery and cone biopsy are two of the few ways to treat cervical dysplasia of the patient.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a medical condition that affects the formation of blood in the body. Myelodysplastic syndrome is considered as pre-leukaemia because about one-third of those with myelodysplastic syndrome develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) eventually. In myelodysplastic syndrome, the body produces immature bone marrow cells in large numbers. These immature cells are also known as blasts or leukemic blasts. This is treated by a stem cell transplant in some cases. The stem cells are inside the bone marrow. But, the procedure is not suitable for everyone and can be quite risky. But, for some patients, it is the only treatment possible. The bone marrow is really important for the patient to survive, a bone marrow transplant can also be done. The bone marrow produces the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets in the body. The stem cells are immature cells which are turned into essential cells by the bone marrow. Myelodysplastic Syndrome threatens the bone marrow and stops the bone marrow from converting the stem cells into essential cells.

Hip Dysplasia in adults usually occurs when there is undiagnosed dysplasia from the childhood days. In adults, the hip dysplasia results in a hard time in walking or movements of the lower limbs. Hip replacement is suggested to a few of the patients, so they can walk from one place to another. The International Hip Dysplasia’s estimate numbers show that at least 35,000 hip replacements each year are due to hip dysplasia in the adulthood.


The causes of dysplasia are not completely understandable and very complex. Mutations in the developmental stages of the foetus are the reason for many types of developmental dysplasia such as ectodermal dysplasia and skeletal dysplasia. However, the causes of the mutations are not yet clear. The dysplasia in adults has a link to their diet. But, no definite cause is known so far.

Hip dysplasia is twelve times more likely if there is a family history of problems with the hip joint. The genes of the patient are considered as one of the causes of the problem. But, the genetics are still not considered as the direct cause for the disease. Hip dysplasia is linked to the improper wrapping of the child in garments, females and the medical history of the patient and their family. If the baby is born prematurely, delivered hips first or if the baby is exposed to huge amounts of radiations, the likeliness of the development of the dysplasia in the hips of the baby is high.

Cervical dysplasia occurs due to the presence of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in the patient. The human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus. Cervical Dysplasia is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Advancing of age and a long duration of an infection in the cervix are also attributed to the causes of cervical dysplasia. The chemicals inhaled in from cigarette smoke is also one of the causes of cervical dysplasia. The immune system is a key factor in cervical dysplasia. Those with the weak immune system are more likely to develop cervical dysplasia. Consumption of immunosuppressant drugs and having an illness that weakens the immune system can also be the cause of cervical dysplasia. The presence of the human papillomavirus in the patient may be due to having multiple sexual partners, having sex before the age of 18 or giving birth to a child before the age of 16.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is the cause for low levels of platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. Myelodysplastic syndrome is caused by a defect in stem cells in the bone marrow of the patient. The bone marrow stem cells begin producing abnormal cells that don’t form correctly and are killed off by the body quickly. This results in a low number of blood cells in the patient’s body to carry the oxygen, blood clotting and issues in fighting against many infectious viruses. The doctors don’t always know the exact cause of the stem cells. The doctors and scientists think that genetic mutations are the cause of the defective stem cells. There are two types of myelodysplastic syndrome, primary myelodysplastic syndrome and secondary myelodysplastic syndrome. There is no known cause for the primary myelodysplastic syndrome. The secondary myelodysplastic syndrome is related to the treatment. It mostly occurs in those who may have been treated for cancer before. Previous history with chemotherapy or radiation therapy may cause harm to the stem cells in the patient’s bone marrow. Exposure to high levels of toluene and benzene for a long duration of time can also cause the secondary myelodysplastic syndrome.


Cervical Dysplasia usually does not show any symptoms. The women may have genital warts which means the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV). Although, it is a different kind of human papillomavirus as compared to the one related to cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia may be one of the symptoms of cervical cancer.

The most common symptom of hip dysplasia is a pain in the hips. Snapping noise from the hips and groin pain for a month duration are also symptoms of hip dysplasia. The hip joint may completely dislocate as well.

The patients with the myelodysplastic syndrome may not show any noticeable symptoms. Reduction in the count of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets is the major symptom of myelodysplastic syndrome. The body is unable to fight infections and the blood is unable to carry oxygen in proper amounts.

Dry and scaly skin, lack of sweat glands, abnormal teeth, delicate nails and hair and discoloured finger and toenails are the symptoms of ectodermal dysplasia.

Slow growth of the bones and disproportionate growth of the head and limbs are the symptoms of skeletal dysplasia. Stiffness and pain in the joints, short stature and curved bones are also the symptoms of skeletal dysplasia.


The doctor will suggest proper treatments to the patient after successfully diagnosing dysplasia. The main focus of most treatments for the different types of dysplasia is to reduce the symptoms. The treatment for different cases of dysplasia are as follows:

Growth hormones are given to those who have skeletal dysplasia. To prevent teeth crowding braces are provided to the patient. Surgery to fix the skeletal dysplasia is also suggested to some by the doctors. Back brace is also provided to the patient to improve or fix the curvature of the spine.

Those with ectodermal dysplasia should follow proper dental hygiene in case defects in teeth. The doctors will prescribe creams and ointments for those with skin conditions and problems. Sprays and drops are also provided by the doctors to the patient in the case of dry eyes or nose. Antibacterial scalp treatments in the case of hair problems in the scalp are also suggested by the doctors.

In cases of cervical dysplasia, it is important to take the future fertility of the patient in consideration before considering the treatment. Laser surgery to remove abnormal cervical tissues is one of the surgical treatments suggested by the doctors. The doctors also suggest using extremely cold temperatures to destroy the harmful cells, this procedure is known as cryocauterisation. Loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP) is when a thin loop wire is used to scrape away the abnormal cells in the cervix which are visible to the doctors.

Stem cell transplant is one of the most common treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome. Other blood cell growth factors and blood transfusion are also considered by the doctors as a treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome. A bone marrow transplant can also be suggested by the doctors as an option for the treatment.


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