Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the association between hormone receptor densities, pain nerves, and inflammation in vestibulodynia patients.
Study design: In a prospective study, tender and nontender biopsies from 10 primary and 10 secondary vestibulodynia patients were compared with biopsies in 4 nontender controls. Hormone receptors were evaluated using immunohistochemistry for estrogen receptor-alpha and -beta, androgen, and progesterone receptors. Inflammation, nerves, and mast cells were assessed histologically. Statistical analysis was by Fisher's exact test, analysis of variance, paired Student t test, and Wilcoxon rank test.
Results: Tender sites from primary vestibulodynia had increased nerve density compared with secondary and control biopsies (P = .01). Tender sites in secondary vestibulodynia had more lymphocytes than tender primary sites and control biopsies (P < .0001). Mast cells were increased in tender sites compared with nontender and controls. There were no differences in hormone receptor expression.
Conclusion: Markers of inflammation differed between primary and secondary vestibulodynia and controls.
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