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December 1990

Vestibular Papillae of the VulvaLack of Evidence for Human Papillomavirus Etiology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Tarnier-Cochin (Drs Moyal-Barracco and Leibowitch), and Institut Pasteur, Unité des Papillomavirus, INSERM U. 190 (Dr Orth), Paris, France.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(12):1594-1598. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670360058008

• Vestibular papillae of the vulva are usually considered as anatomical variants of the vestibular mucosa. Clinically, however, they are quite often interpreted as condylomata acuminata and recent studies have suggested that they could be related to human papillomavirus infection. This prompted us to search for human papillomavirus DNA using the Southern blot hybridization technique, by analyzing biopsy specimens taken from 29 patients who presented with papillae of the vestibular mucosa. Human papillomavirus sequences were detected only in two (6.9%) cases. By the same technique, human papillomavirus sequences were detected in 24 (96%) of 25 vulvar warts used as the control specimens. Thus, it appears unlikely that vestibular papillae are related to human papillomavirus infection. They are usually distinguishable from condylomata acuminata by clinical examination alone.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:1594-1598)