Pediatric and Young Adult Vulvovaginal Graft-versus-Host Disease.Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2019 12; 25(12):2408-2415.BB
Vulvovaginal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an underdiagnosed and poorly recognized complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Previous studies have reported findings restricted to predominantly adult populations. We report a case series of pediatric and young adult vulvovaginal GVHD, which was identified in 19 patients (median age, 11.8 years; range, 2.4 to 21.9 years) out of a total 302 female patients who underwent transplantation over an 8-year period at a pediatric HSCT center. The majority of patients had concomitant nongenital GVHD; only 1 patient had isolated vulvovaginal GVHD. The median time from bone marrow transplantation to diagnosis of vulvovaginal GVHD was 30 months (range, 2.3 to 97.5 months). A high percentage of the patients in our series were without vulvar or vaginal symptoms (n = 8; 42%), even though 17 patients (89%) presented with grade 3 disease based on current adult grading scales. Vulvar examination findings most frequently included interlabial and clitoral hood adhesions (89%), loss of architecture of the labia minora or clitoral hood (42%), and skin erosions or fissures (37%). Only 5 patients underwent a speculum exam, none of whom had vaginal GVHD. Examination findings of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) can overlap with those of GVHD, and 6 patients (32%) in our cohort were diagnosed with POI. Only 1 patient was on systemic hormone replacement therapy at the time of vulvovaginal GVHD diagnosis. The majority of patients (n = 16) were treated with topical steroid therapy, with a median time to response of 43 days. Five patients (26%) had a complete response to therapy, and 10 patients (53%) had a partial response. This case series provides valuable insight into pediatric and young adult vulvovaginal GVHD and highlights the need for increased screening for vulvar disease in this population.