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Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2012;33(5):463-6.

Clinicopathological study of 112 cases of benign, pre-invasive and invasive lesions of the vagina: a 15-year review.

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Pathology Laboratory, University of Athens, Medical School, Aretaieion Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Benign vaginal lesions are mainly asymptomatic and often diagnosed during routine screening gynecological examinations. Additionally, vaginal intraepithelial lesions are asymptomatic and diagnosis is often confirmed after vaginal biopsy under colposcopic evaluation in cases of abnormal cytological Papanicolaou examination or synchronous cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. On the other hand, primary vaginal cancer is rare representing approximately 1-2% of all gynecological cancers. Metastatic invasion of the vagina is common especially in cases of advanced stage cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the diagnostic approach, the management strategy, and the pathological findings in cases of benign, pre-invasive and invasive vaginal lesions that were diagnosed and treated in our Department.


This was a 15-year retrospective study. Cases of benign, pre-invasive, and invasive vaginal lesions diagnosed during the last fifteen years at Aretaieion Hospital of the University of Athens, were analyzed.


During this study period 40 cases of vaginal cysts (35.7% of all vaginal lesions) were diagnosed. Surgical excision of the lesions was decided in all cases and histology showed that the most frequent cyst type was mucus-secreting Mullerian (30%). During the study period, 23 cases of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN, 20.5% of all vaginal lesions) were detected. In 43.5% of the cases, histological diagnosis revealed low grade VAIN, while the remaining cases were classified as high grade VAIN. Furthermore, 11 cases of primary vaginal cancer (9.8% of all vaginal lesions) were diagnosed. The vast majority of them (91%) were squamous cell carcinomas. Additionally, histology confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic invasion of the vaginal wall in 38 cases (34% of all vaginal lesions). In the majority of these cases (55.2%), primary cancer was located in the cervix.


Benign, pre-invasive and invasive vaginal lesions are relatively uncommon and usually accompany lesions in other sites of the lower genital tract. Their diagnosis is based on gynecological or colposcopical examination. Treatment depends on the type of the lesion and the progression of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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