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Table 1 Twenty epithelial characteristics and their descriptions used to evaluate uterine biopsies using SEM

From: Endometrial response to IVF hormonal manipulation: Comparative analysis of menopausal, down regulated and natural cycles

Epithelial Characteristics – Graded 0–3
1. Epithelial abundance – the amount of epithelium found within the sample 11. Cell separation – at times cells are observed to be separate rather than tightly clustered together
2. Tissue heterogeneity – the variability of tissue surfaces within the sample 12. Denuded apices – cell surfaces are devoid of surface modifications such as microvilli, cilia (excluding uterdomes)
3. Cell heterogeneitiy – the variability of the appearance of the cell types within each field 13. Flattened cells – degree to which cells display a flattened topography
4. Gland abundance – the relative number of glands observed within each field 14. Deflated cells – whether cell apices appear to have collapsed or withered
5. Gland opening – the types of gland opening, whether wide, raised, narrow 15. Apical protrusion – the degree to which the cell surface protrudes into the lumen of the uterus
6. Cilia groups – the relative number of ciliated cells clustered together 16. Uterodomes – shape (see Uterodome Assessment)
7. Single cilium – presence of these indicate a senescent or atrophying epithelium 17. Uterodomes – abundance (see Uterodome Assessment)
8. Microvilli height – the relative length of microvilli, from short and blebbed to long 18. Cell borders -may be obvious or deeply recessed between cells
9. Microvilli density – relative number of microvilli per cell, from few to many 19. Secretion – the presence of secretory product within the field or on cell surfaces
10. Apical membrane defects – include observation of porosity and degeneration 20. Plicae – are microvillous folds or ridges on the cell surfaces