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J Reprod Med. 1993 Jan;38(1):19-24.

Intralesional alpha interferon. Cost-effective therapy for vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

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  • 1George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C.


The cost-effectiveness of two treatment strategies for vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS) was compared. Our prospective study consisted of 55 patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)- and non-HPV-associated VVS of at least 6 months' duration treated with intralesional recombinant alpha interferon injections, followed by surgery for nonresponders and responders compared with a hypothetical model of surgery alone. The setting was a private-practice multispecialty center for vulvovaginal disorders. Improvement was defined by patients' subjective evaluation of change in the level of introital dyspareunia and the ability to have sexual relations and objective evidence of change in the degree of erythema and tenderness to touch within the vestibule. Statistical analyses of the overall probability of improvement, overall costs and the cost per patient treated were done. Twenty-seven (49%) of 55 patients treated with alpha interferon had substantial or partial improvement. Of the 28 (51%) who did not improve following alpha interferon, 19 elected to have surgery. Surgery resulted in substantial improvement in 84% of the patients and partial improvement in 11%. Statistical analysis comparing the group treated with alpha interferon (some of whom went to surgery with the hypothetical model of surgical treatment alone) showed significant cost-saving in the group first treated with alpha interferon. At the level of effectiveness achieved in this study, intralesional alpha interferon as a first choice in the treatment of VVS is cost-effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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