Topical 5-Fluorouracil for Women With High-Grade Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine success rates of 5-fluorouracil, excision, and laser ablation as the initial and secondary management strategies for women with high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective case series of women referred to a single center for management of biopsy-proven, high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia between April 1994 and May 2016. Data including demographic characteristics, human papillomavirus risk factors, antecedent Pap cytology, concurrent or prior cervical and vulvar dysplasia, and treatment outcome including follow-up Pap cytology were recorded. All women were counseled on options of excision, laser ablation, or 5-fluorouracil, which was administered intravaginally according to a standardized regimen. Recurrence was defined as a biopsy showing any vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia diagnosis after primary treatment.

RESULTS:

Forty-seven patients were treated initially with 5-fluorouracil, 35 were treated with excision, and 22 were treated with laser ablation. Demographics were similar between groups. No recurrence was noted in 35 women treated with 5-fluorouracil (74%; 95% CI 62–87%), 20 treated with excision (57%; 95% CI 41–74%), and nine treated with laser ablation (41%; 95% CI 20–61%). Among 13 patients treated with 5-fluorouracil for recurrence, eight (62%) did not experience a second recurrence. Nine of 58 (16%) patients ever treated with 5-fluorouracil reported a side effect, most commonly irritation and dyspareunia.

CONCLUSION:

5-fluorouracil was associated with a 74% success rate as the initial treatment modality for high-grade vaginal dysplasia. There is also a role for 5-fluorouracil in the management of recurrent or persistent high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.

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