Higher risk of developing squamous neoplasia following prenatal Diethylstilbestrol exposure

Incidence of squamous neoplasia of the cervix and vagina in DES-exposed

High-Grade-Squamous-Intraep
In this 1978 study, it appeared that women with in utero DES exposure may be at a higher risk of developing squamous neoplasia compared with non-DES-exposed women.

1978 Study Abstract (1)

Two hundred and fifty patients were examined because of a history of in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) or because of the presence of physical findings suggesting such exposure. One thousand biopsies were examined for the presence of neoplasia and then compared to the colposcopic findings. There were no cases of glandular or squamous cell carcinoma. Fifteen (6 per cent) of the patients had squamous cell dysplasia. The degree of dysplasia was mild in 11 and moderate in only 4 (1.6 per cent) of the women. The majority of the cases of dysplasia involved the cervix, whereas the vagina was involved in only four cases, with simultaneous cervical dysplasia in three of these. Patients with cervical mosaic and white epithelium had dysplasia on biopsy much more frequently as compared with patients with similar colposcopic appearances in the vagina. Our results suggest a low incidence of significant squamous precancerous change in the DES-exposed population and provide evidence that colposcopic data concerning dysplasia pertinent to the cervix cannot be applied without modification to the evaluation of dysplasia in vaginal adenosis.

1978 Study Abstract (2)

Among 199 women from 12 to 30 years of age who had been exposed to DES in utero, the colposcopic evaluation of the vagina and cervix was considered normal for only 13.6%. The incidence of colposcopically detected lesions was not related to the trimester of DES exposure, the patient’s age, use of oral contraceptives, or presenting symptoms. Areas of punctation, mosaic patterns, white epithelium, and keratosis were not considered areas of adenosis. Cervical bands, hoods, cock’s combs, etc., were considered as part of the cervix. Under this definition adenosis of the vagina was diagnosed in only 14.1% of the patients. Eight (4.0%) women were found to have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), Grade 3 lesions, and an additional 36 (14.1%) women were found to have CIN, Grade 1 lesions based on the light microscopy evaluation of directed biopsies. There were no cases of clear cell adenocarcinoma. It appears that women with in utero DES exposure may be at a higher risk of developing squamous neoplasia compared with non-DES-exposed women.

Sources and more information
  • In utero exposure to DES. Evaluation and followup of 199 women,
    NCBI PMID: 662229, Obstet Gynecol. 1978 Apr;51(4):459-63.
  • Vaginal and cervical squamous cell dysplasia in women exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero,
    NCBI PMID: 717453, Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1978 Nov 1;132(5):537-44.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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