Vulva lesions seen at a tertiary health centre in southwest Nigeria


  • Olaofe OO Department Morbid Anatomy and Forensic Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria



Vulva Neoplasms, HIV Infections, Papillomavirus Infections, Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Background: Some researchers have emphasised the need for more studies on vulvar cancers. The aim of our study is to describe the vulvar lesions identified in biopsies seen in our department over a five-year period to serve as baseline data for future studies.

Methods: We conducted a five-year cross-sectional study on all vulva specimens received by the department of Morbid Anatomy and Forensic medicine at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, Nigeria. From the departmental records, we retrieved data on the patients' biodata, medical history, and vulva lesion diagnosis.

Results: We recorded 15 vulva biopsies during the study period, with an age range of 13 to 80 years. Two cases were benign tumours, and two cases were inflammatory in nature. A case of a pre-malignant lesion was seen. Nine cases were malignant tumours, all of which are epithelial in origin. We saw two non-neoplastic lesions. These are acute on chronic inflammation and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus.

Of the malignant tumours seen, five were well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), two were moderately differentiated SCC, and two were cases of verrucous carcinoma. One case of verrucous carcinoma and a well-differentiated SCC had a background HIV.

Conclusion: Vulva lesions are rarely seen at our centre. The absence of preinvasive lesions in our study may be due to the late presentation of cases in clinics or the reluctance of gynaecologists to take biopsies of non-tumoral lesions of the vulva. HIV may be associated with an increased risk of HPV-related cancers.