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APMIS. 2003 Sep;111(9):835-42.

Small vulvar squamous cell carcinomas and adjacent tissues. A morphologic study.

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Department of Pathology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Institute of Pathology, Herlev University Hospital, Denmark.


Vulvar squamous cell carcinomas are of different subtypes and degrees of differentiation, and may be associated with adjacent lichen sclerosus and/or varying degrees of dysplasia. The aim of this investigation was to study small carcinomas with a diameter of less than 2 cm in order to find a possible relation between subtypes of carcinomas and adjacent epithelial changes. Fourteen cases of small vulvar squamous cell carcinomas were totally embedded in paraffin. Serial sectioning made a detailed mapping of all different lesions possible, and a two- and three-dimensional imaging was obtained in each case. Seven patients with keratinizing squamous cell carcinomas (median age 65) had adjacent lichen sclerosus. All carcinomas were completely surrounded by areas of VIN1. VIN2 and VIN3 were not found. Seven patients without lichen sclerosus (median age 58) showed squamous cell carcinomas of the keratinizing type (n=2) or the basaloid type (n=5). Five of these cases were incompletely surrounded by varying degrees of dysplasia, mainly VIN2 and VIN3. Two different pathogenetic pathways for the development of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma are likely.

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