Histologic and receptor analysis of primary and secondary vestibulodynia and controls: a prospective study

Martha Goetsch, Terry K. Morgan, Veselina Korcheva, Hong Li, Dawn Peters, Catherine M. Leclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the association between hormone receptor densities, pain nerves, and inflammation in vestibulodynia patients. Study Design: In a prospective study, tender and nontender biopsies from 10 primary and 10 secondary vestibulodynia patients were compared with biopsies in 4 nontender controls. Hormone receptors were evaluated using immunohistochemistry for estrogen receptor-α and -β, androgen, and progesterone receptors. Inflammation, nerves, and mast cells were assessed histologically. Statistical analysis was by Fisher's exact test, analysis of variance, paired Student t test, and Wilcoxon rank test. Results: Tender sites from primary vestibulodynia had increased nerve density compared with secondary and control biopsies (P = .01). Tender sites in secondary vestibulodynia had more lymphocytes than tender primary sites and control biopsies (P < .0001). Mast cells were increased in tender sites compared with nontender and controls. There were no differences in hormone receptor expression. Conclusion: Markers of inflammation differed between primary and secondary vestibulodynia and controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614.e1-614.e8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • inflammation and steroid receptors
  • primary and secondary vestibulodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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