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J Reprod Med. 2007 Jun;52(6):485-9.

Human papillomavirus in vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To investigate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in patients with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome by using a recently developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer set that detects known papillomavirus types.


We retrospectively identified 38 patients with vulvar vestibulitis who underwent therapeutic surgical excision of the vestibule. Eleven controls without vestibulitis who underwent vestibular excision for conditions unrelated to HPV infection were identified prospectively. Surgical specimens were examined for the presence of HPV DNA by PCR amplification. DNA sequencing was used to determine HPV type.


The prevalence of HPV among patients with vestibulitis was 21% vs. 36% among controls. Group B HPV types accounted for 4 of the 10 (40%) HPV types found in patients with vestibulitis. Overall, in both patient and control samples, a spectrum of HPV types was identified, encompassing many branches of the HPV phylogenetic tree. No etiologic association was apparent.


This study did not support an association of HPV with vulvar vestibulitis. The low rate of observed infection in women with and without vestibulitis and the diversity of HPV types identified suggest incidental virus carriage rather than direct cause and effect. The underlying cause of this debilitating condition remains unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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