Prognosis and treatment of desquamative inflammatory vaginitis

Jack D. Sobel, Orna Reichman, Dawn Misra, Wonsuk Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis is a clinical syndrome frequently unrecognized, characterized by vaginal rash and purulent discharge. We describe patient outcomes and treatment at follow-up in a case series of 98 women diagnosed with this syndrome. Methods: We performed a chart review of 130 patients diagnosed with desquamative inflammatory vaginitis between 1996 and 2007 in a referral university-based vaginitis clinic. Clinical findings, laboratory findings, and treatment were documented during the first 12 months and at 2 and 4 years. Results: Of the 98 patients reviewed, 97 were white; mean age was 48.6 years (plus or minus 10.2 years), and 50% were postmenopausal. All patients were symptomatic with vaginal inflammation and 72% had vestibular findings. Treatment with topical 2% clindamycin (54%) or 10% hydrocortisone (46%) dramatically relieved symptoms within 3 weeks (median) in 86% of patients. Treatment was discontinued (median 8 weeks) in 53 patients experiencing clinical remission accompanied by normal wet mount appearance; however, 17 (32%) relapsed within 6 weeks. At 1 year, cure was achieved in 25 patients (26%), 57 (58%) were asymptomatic but remained dependent on maintenance treatment, and 16 (16%) were partially controlled only. A favorable initial response to therapy was associated with positive clinical prognosis by 20 weeks of follow-up (P=.01). Conclusion: Desquamative inflammatory vaginitis is a chronic inflammatory process involving both vagina and vestibule, occurring almost exclusively in white women, that responds well to topical anti-inflammatory therapy, although long-term maintenance therapy frequently is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-855
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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