Pediatric and Young Adult Vulvovaginal Graft-versus-Host Disease

Stephanie M. Cizek, Javier El-Bietar, Jeremy Rubinstein, Christopher Dandoy, Gregory H. Wallace, Adam Nelson, Pooja Khandelwal, Kasiani C. Myers, Holly R. Hoefgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vulvovaginal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an underdiagnosed and poorly recognized complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Previous studies have reported findings restricted to predominantly adult populations. We report a case series of pediatric and young adult vulvovaginal GVHD, which was identified in 19 patients (median age, 11.8 years; range, 2.4 to 21.9 years) out of a total 302 female patients who underwent transplantation over an 8-year period at a pediatric HSCT center. The majority of patients had concomitant nongenital GVHD; only 1 patient had isolated vulvovaginal GVHD. The median time from bone marrow transplantation to diagnosis of vulvovaginal GVHD was 30 months (range, 2.3 to 97.5 months). A high percentage of the patients in our series were without vulvar or vaginal symptoms (n = 8; 42%), even though 17 patients (89%) presented with grade 3 disease based on current adult grading scales. Vulvar examination findings most frequently included interlabial and clitoral hood adhesions (89%), loss of architecture of the labia minora or clitoral hood (42%), and skin erosions or fissures (37%). Only 5 patients underwent a speculum exam, none of whom had vaginal GVHD. Examination findings of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) can overlap with those of GVHD, and 6 patients (32%) in our cohort were diagnosed with POI. Only 1 patient was on systemic hormone replacement therapy at the time of vulvovaginal GVHD diagnosis. The majority of patients (n = 16) were treated with topical steroid therapy, with a median time to response of 43 days. Five patients (26%) had a complete response to therapy, and 10 patients (53%) had a partial response. This case series provides valuable insight into pediatric and young adult vulvovaginal GVHD and highlights the need for increased screening for vulvar disease in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2408-2415
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • GVHD
  • Gynecology
  • Pediatric
  • Survivorship
  • Vaginal
  • Vulvar

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