This study aimed to determine if treating lichen sclerosus (LS) with high-potency topical corticosteroids (TCS) increases the risk of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) recurrence in patients with comorbid vulvar LS and HSIL.
This is a retrospective study of patients with comorbid vulvar LS and HSIL treated with TCS between 2015 and 2020. Patients with clinically diagnosed or biopsy-proven LS and biopsy-proven HSIL of the vulva were included. Clinical data included demographics, tobacco use, immune-modifying conditions, specimen pathology, treatment types, and HSIL recurrence. Bivariate analysis was performed to compare demographic and clinical characteristics between patients with and without HSIL recurrence.
Twenty-six patients with comorbid LS and HSIL were identified. The median age was 66.0 years and median time in treatment for LS was 5.5 years. Thirteen (50%) had recurrence of HSIL and 13 (50%) did not have recurrence. Exposure to high-potency TCS was present in 20 (77%) patients, with 17 (65%) having use of more than 1-year duration and 9 (35%) having use at the time of HSIL diagnosis. When comparing the groups with and without HSIL recurrence, there was no significant difference in high-potency TCS exposure, duration of use, or use at time of HSIL diagnosis.
High-potency TCS use for the treatment of LS did not seem to increase the risk of HSIL recurrence in patients with comorbid vulvar LS and HSIL. This suggests that high-potency TCS can be appropriately used for the treatment of LS even when HPV-associated disease is present.