The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of lipotransfer in women presenting with fibrosis and scarring due to lichen sclerosus.
Materials and Methods
This prospective cohort study included 33 women attending the vulvar clinic of a public hospital. Patients received one lipotransfer treatment. Validated measures were used prospectively to assess the sexual function (Female Sexual Function Index, Female Sexual Distress Scale); symptoms (visual analog scale for itching, burning, soreness), pain (Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale 20); psychological status and quality of life (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Relationship Assessment Scale, Wound Management Questionnaire Revised); physician-based disease signs (Vulvar Architecture Severity Scale). Data were analyzed using paired t test with nonparametric Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test and unpaired t test with nonparametric Mann-Whitney test (Prism6 Software).
The mean (SD) follow-up was 12.9 (3.5) months. Sexual function improved after treatment (p < .001), as well as the distress associated with sexuality (p < .0001). A significant improvement was reported in itching (p < .001), burning (p < .05), soreness (p < .001), and pain (p < .0001). Patients reported a significant improvement in romantic relationship (p < .05), anxiety (p < .0001), and depression (p < .0001). Improvement was not significant in the self-care associated with self-disgust assessment (p = .42). The clinical physician-based score showed an overall improvement in all the treated areas to lesser or greater extent.
The use of fat grafting in lichen sclerosus is promising. Further studies are required to rule out a potential placebo effect and to better understand the underlying molecular mechanism of action.