IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 27 / Issue 4 / pii/2006201

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.

Original Research

Receptor modifications in vulvar dystrophies before and after treatment with topical hormones: comparison between the dextran-charcoal technique and immunohistochemical evaluation

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1 Department of Pharmacology, Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Sassari, Italy
2 Institute of Pathologic Anatomy, University of Sassari, Italy
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2006, 27(4), 411–413;
Published: 10 August 2006

Purpose of investigation: The objective of the study was first to quantify estrogen receptors (ERs) and progesterone receptors (PRs) in dystrophic vulvar tissue before and after topical hormone treatment in an attempt to evaluate whether receptor modifica­tions occurred. Second we compared quantitative analysis with immunohistochemical staining of the vulvar specimens. Methods: We studied 115 vulvar specimens obtained from 75 consenting women ranging from 21 to 78 years of age. Of the patients, 12 had histologically normal vulvar skin, 45 had vulvar dystrophies that were not treated by topical steroid therapy, 28 patients had vulvar dystrophies that were treated by testosterone propionate (TP) 2%, 12 patients had vulvar dystrophies that were treated by progesterone in hydroalcoholic gel and 18 patients had vulvar malignant tumors. For immunohistochemical analysis we considered 25 cases of vulvar dystrophies: 11 cases of squamous hyperplasia (SH) and 14 cases of lichen sclerosus (LS). Among these 25 cases, 15 (5 SH and 10 LS) were treated with TP 2%. Results: After treatment of the vulvar dystrophies with progesterone, the positivity of ERs decreased (58.3% vs 77.8%). After treatment of the vulvar dystrophies with TP 2%, the positivity of PRs significantly decreased (14.3% vs 68.9%) whereas after treatment with progesterone the positivity of PRs increased (83.3%). The immunohistochemical study showed some differences in com­parison to the quantitative study. In fact we found low basal positivity especially for PRs (16% vs 68.9% of the quantitative study). This finding was due to the use of a cutoff of at least++ in order to increase the specificity. After treatment with TP 2%, we observed an increase of immunohistochemical positivity for ERs even in cases that were negative before treatment and a lack of PRs even in cases that were positive before treatment. Conclusions: These data demonstrate the efficacy of androgen therapy with TP 2% in vulvar dystrophies with increased trophism due to the increase of ERs.

Vulvar dystrophies
Squamous hyperplasia
Lichen sclerosus
Receptor modifications
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