Advances in diagnosing vaginitis: development of a new algorithm

Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2005 Nov;7(6):458-62. doi: 10.1007/s11908-005-0048-3.


The current approach to diagnosing vulvovaginal symptoms is both flawed and inadequate. Mistakes occur at the level of the patient herself, her provider, and the sensitivity of office-based tests. Often, the differential diagnosis is so broad that providers may overlook some of the possibilities. A diagnostic algorithm which separates women into either a normal or elevated vaginal pH can successfully classify most women with vaginitis. Based on the amine test, vaginal leukocytes, and vaginal parabasal cells, those with an elevated pH can be placed into further diagnostic categories. Such an algorithm helps to prioritize different diagnoses and suggest appropriate ancillary tests.