Multimodality imaging of vulvar cancer: staging, therapeutic response, and complications

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2013 Jun;200(6):1387-400. doi: 10.2214/AJR.12.9714.


Objective: Vulvar carcinoma is a rare malignancy, most commonly seen in elderly women. Survival depends on the lymph node status. Lymph node-negative patients have a 5-year survival of 90%, whereas survival drops to about 50% in patients with positive lymph nodes. The purpose of this article is to familiarize the reader with the revised International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging of vulvar cancer and incorporate it into daily practice when interpreting cross-sectional imaging studies.

Conclusion: Although vulvar cancer is diagnosed clinically, cross-sectional imaging plays an important complimentary role in staging of the tumor, assessing extent of disease, and selecting operable versus inoperable candidates to ultimately help in decreasing morbidity and increasing survival in these patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Survival Rate
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / complications
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / therapy


  • Contrast Media