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Br J Cancer. 2009 Jul 7;101(1):27-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605124. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Patients with usual vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia-related vulvar cancer have an increased risk of cervical abnormalities.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (791), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) originates the following two pathways, related to differentiated (d) vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) or to human papillomavirus (HPV)-related usual (u) VIN. Multicentric HPV infections (cervix, vagina and vulva) are common. We hypothesise that patients with a uVIN-related vulvar SCC more often have cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) compared with women with dVIN-related vulvar SCC.


All vulvar SCCs (201) were classified to be dVIN- (n=164) or uVIN related (n=37). Data with regard to the smear history and cervical histology were retrieved from PALGA, the nationwide Netherlands database of histo- and cytopathology. For HSIL cervical smears of which histology was taken, HPV DNA analysis on both the vulvar and cervical specimens was performed.


At least one smear was available in 145 (72%) of the 201 patients. Patients with a uVIN-related vulvar SCC more often had an HSIL compared with patients with a dVIN-related SCC (35 vs 2%, P<0.001). A total of 10 of the 13 HSILs were histologically assessed and identical HPV types were found in the vulva and cervix.


These data emphasise the necessity to differentiate between dVIN- and uVIN-related vulvar tumours and to examine the entire lower female ano-genital tract once an uVIN-related lesion is found.

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