Prevalence and type distribution of human papillomavirus infections in Danish patients diagnosed with vulvar squamous cell tumors and precursors

Annemarie Brusen Villadsen, Caspar Bundgaard-Nielsen, Lea Ambühl, Majbritt Tang Svendsen, Inge Søkilde Pedersen, Estrid Stæhr Hansen, Ulrik Baandrup, Jan Blaakær, Suzette Sørensen*


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Objective: To study the prevalence and type distribution of human papillomavirus (HPV) in patients with vulvar high-grade precancerous lesions and vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC). Methods: Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples from Danish patients diagnosed with vulvar precancerous lesions or VSCC in the period from 2010 to 2012 were obtained. HPV-DNA detection was carried out by the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using GP5+/GP6+ primers and genotyped by sequencing. A systematic literature search on the PubMed database was performed to investigate the prevalence and genotype distribution worldwide. Results: In the present study population (n = 149) 52 vulvar high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), 2 differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (dVIN), and 95 VSCC cases were identified. HPV was detected in 85 patients (57.0%). Overall, a higher proportion of the vulvar high-grade precancerous lesions were HPV positive compared to VSCC (83.6% vs. 42.1%, p < 0.001). Additionally, HSIL had a significantly higher HPV-positive rate compared to keratinizing VSCC (84.6% vs. 33.3%, p < 0.001). However, the HPV positivity was comparable between HSIL and non-keratinizing VSCC (84.6% vs. 82.4%, p = 0.825). One dVIN was HPV positive whereas the other was HPV negative. HPV-16 was the most common HPV type (68.2%), followed by HPV-33 (18.8%) and HPV-18 (8.2%). Conclusions: Most vulvar HSIL and non-keratinizing VSCCs appear to be HPV associated. However, we find a high HPV association in keratinizing VSCC, which needs to be further studied. HPV-16 remains the predominant genotype, but HPV-33 also seems to play a role in the development of VSCC.

TidsskriftGynecologic Oncology Reports
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2021

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© 2021
© 2021 The Authors.


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