Clinical features and risk of recurrence among patients with vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Nov;83(2):363-9. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6401.


Objective: The best treatment modality and factors affecting recurrence among women with vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) are yet to be determined. The aims of the current study were to describe the clinical features, results of treatment, and factors affecting recurrence among patients with VAIN.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 121 women with VAIN after confirming the histologic diagnosis. Patient demographics, clinical features, and results of therapy were recorded. Factors affecting recurrence were assessed using the odds ratio and the 95% confidence intervals among patients who were followed up for 7 months or more and had at least one posttreatment Papanicolaou smear. Significant univariate odds ratios were assessed jointly in a multivariate model with a stratified analysis.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 35.0 (+/-17), 41% of the patients smoked, 39% had a history of human papillomavirus infection, 27% had history of sexually transmitted diseases, 22% had history of surgery for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and 23% had total hysterectomy. The upper third of the vagina was the most common site of VAIN and 61% of the lesions were multifocal. Associated cervical and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) were present in 65 and 10%, respectively. Recurrences of VAIN and progression to invasive vaginal cancer occurred in 33 and 2%, respectively. Recurrences following partial vaginectomy, laser, and 5-fluorouracil were 0, 38, and 59%, respectively (P = 0.0001). Multifocality and method of treatment were significant independent predictors of VAIN recurrences (odds ratio 3.3, 95% CI 1.2, 9.2, P = 0.02, and 22.4, 95% CI 1.3, 393.6, P = 0.001, respectively), with no interaction, based on a stratified analysis.

Conclusions: VAIN occurs most often among women with CIN or VIN, commonly involves the upper third of the vagina, and is often multifocal. Partial vaginectomy provides the highest cure rate and multifocality is a risk factor for recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma in Situ / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / surgery