Review ArticleEarly Vulvar Squamous Neoplasia: Advances in Classification, Diagnosis, and Differential DiagnosisMedeiros, Fabiola MD; Nascimento, Alessandra F MD; Crum, Christopher P MDAuthor Information From the Division of Women's and Perinatal Pathology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Reprints: Christopher Crum, MD, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Amory Bldg., 75 Francis St., 3rd fl., Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail: email@example.com). Advances in Anatomic Pathology: January 2005 - Volume 12 - Issue 1 - p 20-26 doi: 1097/01.pqp.0000151268.72556.f3 Buy Metrics Abstract The recognition and classification of preinvasive vulvar neoplasia are complicated by the facts that (a) their respective carcinomas have a diverse (human papillomavirus [HPV]- and non-HPV-related) pathogenesis; (b) not all vulvar squamous carcinomas are associated with precursors with strictly defined morphologic features; (c) many carcinomas have epithelial changes that are abnormal but lack sufficient nuclear atypia to warrant classification as an intraepithelial neoplasm; and (d) even lesions associated with a common etiologic agent (HPV) present a diverse morphologic spectrum. In this review, five categories of early vulvar neoplasia are defined, based on the available literature, into (a) low-grade lesions with minimal cancer risk, (b) high-grade lesions associated with HPV, (c) high-grade lesions associated with other etiologies, (d) squamous atypias defined by abnormalities in differentiation rather than abnormalities in nuclear morphology, and (d) early carcinomas that do not exhibit conspicuous stromal invasion. The first three groups are arranged into low- and high-grade intraepithelial lesions, the fourth into intraepithelial atypias that bear careful follow-up and attention to the co-existing squamous mucosa, and the fifth into a category that, depending on the degree of cell differentiation, may warrant local excision or lymph node dissection. Recognition of these five categories is germane to proper management of women with squamous lesions of the vulva. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.