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November 1994

The Vulvovaginal-Gingival Syndrome of Lichen PlanusThe Clinical Characteristics of 22 Patients

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(11):1379-1382. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690110045004

Background and Design:  The vulvovaginal-gingival syndrome is a variant of mucosal lichen planus characterized by erosions and desquamation of the vulva, vagina, and gingiva. The clinical features of patients initially evaluated for vulvitis who exhibited the additional features of this syndrome have been described in one previous study. In the current study, 22 women with biopsy-proved oral lichen planus and clinical evidence of vulvovaginal lichen planus were examined and treated. This group of patients represents the largest reported series demonstrating the vulvovaginalgingival syndrome.

Results:  Gingival lichen planus, present in all patients, was characterized by erosions and erythema in 16 sub- jects and by white, reticulated lesions in six others. Vulvovaginal lichen planus also displayed erosions in the majority of patients. The response to a wide variety of therapeutic agents was satisfactory in most patients. However, concomitant use of several drugs was usually required to achieve beneficial results.

Conclusions:  Patients with oral lichen planus should be routinely examined for the presence of disease on other mucosal surfaces. The recognition of this syndrome, which is undoubtedly more common than previously reported, will avoid unnecessary delay in the treatment of these patients.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:1379-1382)