Visual improvements in vaginal mucosa correlate with symptoms of VVA: data from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the response of the vaginal mucosa with TX-004HR and its correlation with vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) symptoms, and whether visual examination is a useful measure for assessing VVA.

Methods:

REJOICE was a 12-week, phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a vaginal, muco-adhesive, 17β-estradiol softgel capsule (TX-004HR 4, 10, and 25 μg) in postmenopausal women with VVA and moderate-to-severe dyspareunia. Treatments were self-administered vaginally once per day for 2 weeks, then twice per week for 10 weeks. The vagina was visually examined at baseline and at weeks 2, 6, 8, and 12; changes were evaluated using a 4-item scale for vaginal color, vaginal epithelial integrity, vaginal epithelial surface thickness, and vaginal secretions.

Results:

Significant improvements were observed with all three TX-004HR doses versus placebo in vaginal color (least square mean score changes of −0.96 to −1.06 for TX-004HR doses vs −0.60 for placebo at week 12), epithelial integrity (−0.97 to −1.07 vs −0.60), epithelial surface thickness (−0.94 to −1.03 vs −0.61), and secretions (−1.01 to −1.06 vs −0.64) (P < 0.001 for all comparisons at all time points). Both Pearson's correlations and logistic regression receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses significantly correlated the sum of the individual visual assessment scores with dyspareunia (P < 0.0001) and vaginal dryness (P < 0.0001) at 12 weeks.

Conclusions:

Greater improvements in the vaginal mucosa of postmenopausal women with VVA and moderate-to-severe dyspareunia were observed with TX-004HR versus placebo, and vaginal mucosa assessment scores correlated with vaginal symptoms of dyspareunia and dryness. Visual vaginal assessment by healthcare professionals is a useful measure for diagnosing VVA and assessing response to treatment.

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