Author(s): CoutantFoulc P, Lewis FM, Berville S, Janssen B, Guihard P,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To define the clinical features, imaging results, histopathologic patterns, and clinical outcomes seen in patients who develop vulval swelling as a result of intensive cycling. METHODS: The case notes of 8 female cyclists were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 45 years, and all were cycling long distances each week (range, 125-450 km; median, 210 km). All patients had a unilateral swelling of the labium majus. Five patients had magnetic resonance imaging showing asymmetry of the vulva with no enhanced signaling associated with inflammation. Histologic examination in 3 cases revealed dermal fibrosis and dermal edema associated with dilatation of lymphatic vessels. In 1 case, a perifollicular inflammatory infiltrate containing epithelioid granulomas was seen but Crohn's disease was excluded. In another case, fibromuscular hyperplasia was seen. Six patients had surgical excision of the swollen area, and 4 patients were able to resume cycling without problems up to 5 years of follow-up. The cosmetic appearance was initially considered satisfactory by 5 patients. However, 2 patients required a second surgical procedure to further improve the cosmetic appearance. In 1 case, there was a postoperative hematoma followed by an immediate recurrence of the swelling, which persisted. CONCLUSIONS: Unilateral swelling of the labium majus occurring in cyclists can be related to dermal fibroedema associated with lymphatic dilatation or to an increase in adipose tissue. Surgical results were satisfactory in 5 of the 6 patients who underwent excision.
This article was published in J Low Genit Tract Dis
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies