Differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (dVIN) is the precursor lesion of HPV-negative vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC). The histopathological diagnosis of dVIN can be challenging, as it often resembles vulvar non-neoplastic epithelial disorders (NNED), especially lichen sclerosus (LS). We aimed to establish the most specific and reproducible histological features of dVIN and assessed cytokeratin 13 (CK13) and cytokeratin 17 (CK17) immunohistochemistry as a diagnostic aid. Consecutive cases of dVIN (n = 180) and LS (n = 105) from the period 2010 to 2013 were reviewed using a checklist of histological features. Each feature was recorded as ‘present’ or ‘absent’ and statistical comparison (dVIN vs LS) was made. Interobserver agreement between two pairs of pathologists was assessed for a subset of cases of dVIN (n = 31) and LS and other NNED (n = 23). Immunohistochemistry with CK13, CK17, MIB1 and p53 was performed on dVIN, LS, and other NNED cases. Macronucleoli, features of disturbed maturation and angulated nuclei were significantly more common in dVIN than LS (p < 0.001). We found ‘substantial agreement’ for the diagnosis of dVIN (κ = 0.71). Macronucleoli and deep keratinisation had the highest agreement. In dVIN, the mean percentage of cells staining with CK13 was 15 and with CK17, this was 74. For LS, the mean percentage of cells staining with CK13 was 31, and with CK17, this was 41. By plotting receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC), an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.52 was obtained for CK13, and an AUC of 0.87 was obtained for CK17. The most helpful histological features for diagnosing dVIN were macronucleoli, features of disturbed maturation, and angulated nuclei. Increased CK17 expression may have promise for supporting dVIN diagnosis.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cytokeratin 13, Cytokeratin 17, Differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, Histology, Immunohistochemistry, Vulva
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-018-2436-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/110172
Journal Virchows Archiv
Dasgupta, S. (Shatavisha), Ewing, P.C, van Kemenade, F.J, van Doorn, H.C. (Helena C.), Noordhoek Hegt, V, & Koljenović, S. (2018). Differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (dVIN): the most helpful histological features and the utility of cytokeratins 13 and 17. Virchows Archiv. doi:10.1007/s00428-018-2436-8