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INTRODUCTION: Vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic inflammatory and mutilating disease, which goes often undetected for years. Advanced disease severely affects quality of life like sexual disorders and is also associated with an increased risk of vulvar cancer. AIM: To develop and validate a patient-administered symptom score and a physician-administered clinical score for the diagnosis and evaluation of vulvar LS. METHODS: We included 24 patients with established LS diagnosis and 49 with other vulvar disease. The physician-administered score was based on six clinical features and the patient-administered score was a symptom-based four-item composite score. We determined inter-item correlations and internal consistency of both scores, and estimated sensitivities, specificities, likelihood ratios, and posttest probabilities for different cutoffs of the physician-administered score. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Characteristics of patients with and without LS were compared using χ(2) and unpaired t-test as required. We then determined Cronbach's alpha as a measure of the overall consistency of scores and calculated positive and negative likelihoods. RESULTS: Lack of redundancy of items (correlation coefficients < 0.90) and internal consistency (Cronbach's α ≥ 0.70) suggested that final composite scores were valid and yielded excellent power to rule in LS. CONCLUSION: Scores may be useful for assessing symptoms of vulvar disorders, to ease diagnosis of LS and to evaluate treatment response over time.

Original publication




Journal article


J Sex Med

Publication Date





2342 - 2350


Adult, Dyspareunia, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Pain, Pruritus, Sensitivity and Specificity, Severity of Illness Index, Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus