Type of publication:
*Pandey B., *Papoutsis D., *Guttikonda S., *Ritchie J., *Reed N., *Panikkar J., *Blundell S.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, April 2015, vol./is. 122/(149)
Introduction We aimed to compare the clinical outcomes between treated and untreated patients with high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN2/3) in our colposcopy unit. Methods The clinical records of all patients diagnosed with VAIN and vaginal cancer over the time period of 1981-2012 were retrieved and reviewed. The primary outcome was to identify the progression of treated versus untreated patients with VAIN2/3 to vaginal cancer and to compare persistent VAIN disease in both subgroups. The secondary outcome was to identify any associations between particular demographic features of treated/ untreated VAIN2/3 patients with their clinical outcome. Results During the time period of this observational cohort study 36 patients of which 11 patients with VAIN1, 19 with VAIN2/3 disease and 6 with vaginal cancer were identified. In those with VAIN2/3 (n = 19) the diagnosis was made in a younger age in the subgroup of treated patients (n = 8) versus the untreated patients (n = 11) (47 +/- 7.1 versus 54.3 +/- 11.5 years old). Nulliparity and smoking status were similar between the two cohorts. The median follow-up for the untreated women was 7 years (range 1-22 years). In the treated VAIN2/3 group, median time from diagnosis to treatment was 4 years (range 0.2-7 years), and median follow-up after treatment was 7 years (range 0.5-18 years). Treatment methods were ablation (n = 4), excision of lesion (n = 2) and vaginectomy (n = 2). There were no cases of treated VAIN2/3 patients (0%) that progressed to vaginal cancer, whereas n = 3 cases of untreated VAIN2/3 patients (21.4%) progressed to vaginal cancer. Following initial VAIN2/3 diagnosis, 8/11 cases of untreated VAIN2/3 (72.7%) had persistent disease as identified in follow-up cytology/colposcopy/vaginal biopsies. In the treated VAIN2/3 patients, 5/5 cases (100%) had persistent disease post-diagnosis but after treatment this decreased to 2/7 cases (28.5%). Conclusion Treated VAIN2/3 patients were of younger age but of similar smoking status and parity in comparison to untreated patients. Three cases of untreated VAIN2/3 progressed to vaginal cancer, whereas there were no such cases of patients receiving treatment for VAIN2/3. The VAIN2/3 patients who received treatment had a higher rate of persistent VAIN disease at followup post-diagnosis (100% versus 72.7%), but after treatment this rate fell down to 28.5%. Further studies are needed to conclude whether treatment of VAIN2/3 disease reduces the rate of VAIN disease persistence and affects the progression to vaginal cancer.