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J Reprod Med. 2005 Jul;50(7):477-80.

Prevalence of vulvar lichen sclerosus in a general gynecology practice.

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  • 1Division of Gynecologic Specialties, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. obstetrics@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the rate of vulvar lichen sclerosus in 1 general gynecology practice.

STUDY DESIGN:

A database of 1,675 consecutive patients presenting in a 3-year period to a general gynecology practice was utilized to identify women with lichen sclerosus. Data included age, menopausal status, symptoms and physical examination findings. Pathology specimens were reexamined by a gynecologic pathologist to confirm the diagnosis of lichen sclerosus.

RESULTS:

Of the 1,675 patients, 28 (1.7%) had biopsy-proven vulvar lichen sclerosus. Nine patients been diagnosed previously, and 19 were new cases. The mean age at diagnosis was 52.6 years (SD +/- 15.9) versus 37.1 years (SD +/- 16.4) for those without lichen sclerosus (p < 0.001). Fifteen of the 28 patients (54%) were post-menopausal at the time of diagnosis. Of the 19 women with newly diagnosed lichen sclerosus, 8 (42%) were symptomatic. Of the 11 asymptomatic women, 7 (64%) had scarring of the clitoral prepuce or resorption of the labia minora.

CONCLUSION:

The rate of vulvar lichen sclerosus in 1 general gynecology private practice is approximately 1.7%. Clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion to make the diagnosis, as at least one third of patients may be asymptomatic.

PMID:
16130842
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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