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Acta Derm Venereol. 1997 Jul;77(4):319-22.

Is vulvar vestibulitis an inflammatory condition? A comparison of histological findings in affected and healthy women.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Umeå University Hospital, Sweden.


Vulvar vestibulitis, as defined by Friedrich, is considered to be inflammatory, despite the fact that the normal histology of this specific area has previously not been characterized. The aim of the present study was to compare the normal histology of the vulvar vestibulum with findings in localized vulvar vestibulitis. Biopsies were taken at the area of the vestibulitis, i.e. at the openings of the Bartholin's duct. Eleven control specimens were examined histologically and compared to 24 specimens obtained from 20 patients. All samples were also tested for human papillomavirus, and they were all negative. In control specimens, as well as in specimens from patients, subepithelial inflammatory cells, sometimes aggregated into lymph follicles and/or small groups of lymphocytes were found. The conclusion is reached that the occurrence of inflammatory cells in vestibular tissue is a normal finding and cannot serve as a histological indicator of vulvar vestibulitis.

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