Gender-affirming surgery is part of a multidisciplinary approach in gender transitioning. Deeper histologic examination may strengthen care for transmasculine individuals and increase the understanding of the influence of hormonal therapy in specific organs.
To evaluate and catalogue histologic findings of tissue obtained from gender-affirming gynecologic surgery and cervical cytology specimens.
This is an institutional review board–approved retrospective study that included transmasculine individuals who underwent gender-affirming gynecologic surgery from January 2015 to June 2020. All surgical gynecologic pathology and cervical cytology slides were reviewed by 2 pathologists.
Fifty-five patients were included, which represented 40 uteri, 35 bilateral ovaries, 15 vaginectomy specimens, and 24 cervical cytology results. The median age was 27 years (range, 18–56) and 94% (50 of 53) of patients were receiving testosterone for at least 1 year. Seventy-five percent (30 of 40) of endometria were inactive, while 25% (10 of 40) showed evidence of cycling. Transitional cell metaplasia was the most common finding in the cervix (17 of 40) and vagina (15 of 15), reflecting a high percentage (4 of 24) of unsatisfactory or ASC-US (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance) cervical cytologies. Prostatic-type glands were identified in 20% (8 of 40) of cervices and 67% (10 of 15) of vaginectomy specimens. Multiple bilateral cystic follicles and evidence of follicular maturation were present in 57% (20 of 35) of cases. Four cases showed paratubal epididymis-like mesonephric remnant hypertrophy.
A comprehensive evaluation of tissue from gender-affirming surgery increases knowledge of the changes following androgen therapy in transmasculine individuals and may contribute to optimal patient care by raising awareness of normal histologic variations in this population.
The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.
This work's preliminary results were previously presented as a poster at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Meeting; March 16, 2021; virtual.