Pathology of the vagina

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;3(4):553-60.


This review summarizes key articles published in 1990 relevant to abnormalities of the vagina. The subjects covered include vaginal squamous neoplasia, including epidemiologic characteristics, vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia, superficially invasive carcinoma of the vagina, and the expression of epidermal growth factor and HER-2neu in normal and neoplastic epithelium. Clear cell adenocarcinoma is discussed, and recent epidemiologic factors distinguishing vaginal from cervical clear cell adenocarcinoma, as they are related to in utero diethylstilbestrol exposure, are presented. Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the Bartholin's gland, presenting as a vaginal mass, is documented in a reviewed case report. A series of primary malignant melanomas of the vagina are presented and clinical and pathologic features, as well as survival data and factors influencing survival are presented. Three studies on vaginal fibroepithelial polyps, clinical and pathologic evaluations, as well as differential diagnosis and concepts of origin, are reviewed. These findings provide new insights into the understanding of the properties of the subepithelial stroma of the lower female genital tract and its capacity to change in pregnancy and the postpartum state.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / analysis
  • Polyps / metabolism
  • Polyps / pathology
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Vagina / pathology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2