The endometrium consists of a thick stroma containing numerous irregularly-shaped tubular glands lined by columnar epithelium. In this image, shrinkage of the tissue has created an artifactual space (asterisks) around each gland.
Because this endometrium is actively proliferating, mitotic figures (arrowheads) appear frequently in the glandular epithelium. Mitotic figures should also be common in the stroma, but are not apparent in this image.
The relative smooth contour of the glands is also indicative of proliferative phase, in contrast with the more irregular surface shape of glandular epithelium in secretory phase.
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Last updated: 3 April 2002 / dgk