Reference Work Entry

Blaustein’s Pathology of the Female Genital Tract

pp 105-154

Diseases of the Vagina

  • Richard J. ZainoAffiliated withDepartments of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pathology and Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Gynecologic Pathology, The Johns Hopkins HospitalDepartment of Pathology, H179, M.S. Hershey Medical Center Email author 
  • , Marisa NucciAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian HospitalBrigham Women’s Hospital, Women’s Department of Pathology
  • , Robert J. KurmanAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineDepartments of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pathology and Oncology, Division of Gynecologic Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Abstract

The vagina, like other orifices that interface between the external environment and the interior milieu, acts as a barrier to many potentially invasive microorganisms. It is, thus, not surprising that the vagina is the site of a variety of infections, both sexually and nonsexually transmitted, and this, in fact, represents the predominant type of pathology of this organ. In contrast, neoplasms are relatively unusual in this site, which is somewhat unexpected in view of the relationship between infection (e.g., human papilloma virus infection) and the development of carcinoma of the vulva and cervix.