Plasma Cell Vulvitis: A Systematic Review

Jill M. Krapf, Kathryn Cavallo, Monica Saleeb, Andrew T. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective This systematic review aimed to present the available literature on plasma cell vulvitis (PCV), a relatively uncommon form of inflammatory vulvovaginal dermatitis. Materials and Methods A literature search was performed in PubMed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar using the following key words: "plasma cell vulvitis,""Zoon vulvitis,"and "vulvitis circumscripta plasmacellularis."Specific variables were assessed in each article, including patient age, menopausal status, comorbidities, presenting symptoms, symptom duration, histological description, treatment, and treatment response. Results Thirty-nine articles met inclusion criteria, including 38 case reports and 1 observational study, with a total of 96 cases of PCV reported. The mean age of diagnosis was 52.9 years, with an age range of 8-76 years. Most common presenting symptoms included pruritis and vaginal discomfort, with average duration of symptoms 28.2 months (range = 2 months to 10 years). All reports demonstrated subepithelial plasma cell infiltrate on histology. Five percent of PCV cases reported concomitant autoimmune conditions and 6% sexually transmitted infections. Most common treatment modalities included topical corticosteroids (n = 41), tacrolimus (n = 6), and imiquimod (n = 6). In 53 reported outcomes, 88.7% of patients had resolution of symptoms with treatment. Conclusions Clinical research is needed to better determine the diagnostic criteria and to assess the efficacy of treatment options for PCV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Lower Genital Tract Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • dermatitis
  • plasma cell vulvitis
  • topical corticosteroids
  • vaginitis
  • vulvar dermatoses
  • vulvitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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