High Frequency of Genital Lichen Sclerosus in a Prospective Series of 76 Patients With Morphea: Toward a Better Understanding of the Spectrum of Morphea

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the frequency of genital lichen sclerosus (LS) in patients with morphea with that of control patients.

Design

A prospective multicenter study.

Setting

Four French academic dermatology departments: Strasbourg, Montpellier, Tenon Hospital Paris, and Henri Mondor Hospital Créteil.

Patients

Patients were recruited from November 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010. Seventy-six patients with morphea and 101 age- and sex-matched controls, who underwent complete clinical examination, were enrolled.

Interventions

A complete clinical examination and, if deemed necessary, a cutaneous biopsy.

Main Outcome Measure

The frequency of genital LS.

Results

There were 58 women and 18 men (a 3:1 ratio) with a median age of 59 years. Mean (range) age at diagnosis was 54 (13-87) years. Forty-nine patients had plaque morphea, 9 had generalized morphea, and 18 had linear morphea. Three patients (3%) in the control group and 29 patients (38%) with morphea had LS (odds ratio, 19.8; 95% CI, 5.7-106.9; P < .001). Twenty-two patients with plaque morphea (45%) and only 1 patient with linear morphea (6%) had associated genital LS.

Conclusions

Genital LS is significantly more frequent in patients with morphea than in unaffected individuals. Forty-five percent of patients with plaque morphea have associated LS. Complete clinical examination, including careful inspection of genital mucosa, should therefore be mandatory in patients with morphea because genital LS bears a risk of evolution into squamous cell carcinoma and thus needs treatment with topical corticosteroids.

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