Genital lichen sclerosus (LS), a chronic noninfectious dermatosis, is not rare in pediatric dermatology. The histopathological diagnosis in children and adults in both genital and nongenital LS is considered to be the same and encompasses a broad range of possible characteristics. Clinical manifestations and treatment options of genital LS in children are different depending on gender. The vast majority of boys are treated with circumcision, making for a larger amount of information on the histopathology of genital LS in boys, whereas substantial information on the histopathology of juvenile vulvar LS is lacking. In girls, vulvar LS almost always persists beyond puberty and, therefore, presents a particular challenge to clinicians and cause for concern for the patient. Vulvar LS in childhood and adolescence (juveniles) is underreported, and there are uncertainties with regard to the long-term course of the disease when it occurs at an age when the vulva is still developing. The present study investigates biopsies of 100 juvenile cases of vulvar LS and analyzes the presence or absence of the most salient histopathological characteristics of LS that are described in the literature. We found that the range of histopathological characteristics known for adult LS are also present in juvenile vulvar LS, even at very young ages, including histopathological features associated with autoimmune disease, in support of the idea of a similar pathogenesis.

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Human Pathology
Department of Pathology

Morrel, B., Ewing, P., van der Avoort, I.A.M., Pasmans, S., & Damman, J. (2020). Structured analysis of histopathological characteristics of vulvar lichen sclerosus in a juvenile population. Human Pathology, 106, 23–31. doi:10.1016/j.humpath.2020.09.003