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Randomized CO2 vs Sham Laser Treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03390049
Recruitment Status : Withdrawn (No funding)
First Posted : January 4, 2018
Last Update Posted : June 10, 2019
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Wake Forest University Health Sciences

Brief Summary:

Vulvodynia is a debilitating chronic vulvar pain lasting at least 3 months without a clear identifiable cause that is challenging to treat effectively. Vulvodynia is a common pain condition: its prevalence is estimated at 7-8% in women between the ages of 18 and 40. Vulvodynia that is provoked and localized to the vestibule (provoked vestibulodynia [PVD]) appears to be the most commonly seen in clinical practice. The current treatment approach for PVD follows a trial-and-error strategy from one intervention to another if symptoms fail to remit. Treatment options include reducing vulvar irritation (e.g., by stopping the use of detergents), topical agents (e.g., lidocaine), oral medications, pelvic floor physical therapy, psychotherapy, locally injectable agents (e.g., botulinum toxin A), and surgery (vestibulectomy). Despite the number of available treatment options, treatment failure is common.

Fractional carbon-dioxide (CO2) laser is a technology widely used in dermatology for the treatment of various skin conditions. It has also been found to be an effective and safe treatment modality for symptoms of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause. A recent pilot study explored the use of fractional CO2 laser for the treatment of vestibulodynia in 37 subjects, 67.6% of which reported that their symptoms were "improved" or "very improved" after 3 fractional CO2 laser sessions. In addition, the subjects reported statistically-significant decreases in vulvar pain and dyspareunia scores. Though the results of this pilot study are promising, it was of small sample size and did not control for the placebo effect. In cases of PVD, the placebo effect has been found to have a significant impact on self-reported outcomes. Sham procedures, when performed correctly, can be ethically administered and can significantly reduce study bias.

The primary aim of this study, therefore, is to assess the difference in vulvar pain intensity scores, at baseline and at 6, 12, 16, and 24 weeks post-randomization, in women with refractory PVD assigned to fractional CO2 laser vs sham laser. This study will provide information about the efficacy of this treatment modality in women with a challenging clinical condition. Hypothesis: Administration of 3 sessions of fractional carbon-dioxide laser to the vulvar vestibule of women with refractory provoked vestibulodynia will result in a clinically-significant greater reduction in vulvar pain intensity scores than placebo (sham laser).


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Vestibulodynia Device: Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment Device: Sham Laser Treatment Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 0 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description:

Each subject will be assigned a study identification number, and demographic and clinical data will be recorded in REDCAP on de-identified data collection forms. The lead research coordinator will maintain the key linking the identification number to each subject in a locked, password-protected site. A random number generator in REDCAP will then randomly assign each subject to either fractional CO2 laser or sham laser.

The physician administering the laser sessions will be blinded to treatment arm assignment.

Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized Controlled Trial of Fractional CO2 Laser vs Sham Laser for Women With Provoked Vestibulodynia Who Have Failed Conservative Management
Estimated Study Start Date : August 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date : November 2019
Estimated Study Completion Date : November 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment
Fractional CO2 laser will be applied to the entire vestibule, anteriorly to the fourchette, and laterally to the labia majora. This takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. A treatment cycle will consist of three laser sessions separated by 6 weeks +/- 1 week. The procedures will take place in the outpatient clinic. EMLA cream will be applied to the introitus for 20 minutes and wiped clean and dried prior to each laser session. Subjects will be advised to avoid intercourse for at least 3 days after each laser session because a mild inflammatory reaction may last up to 48 hours after a laser session. Topical lidocaine 5% ointment may be used for any vulvar discomfort post-procedure.
Device: Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment
After obtaining a negative urine pregnancy test, each subject assigned to the fractional CO2 laser treatment arm will undergo laser sessions with the fractional microablative CO2 laser system (SmartXide 2 V 2 LR, MonaLisa Touch, DEKA, Florence, Italy) using the flat vulvar probe with the following settings: dot power 26 Watts, dwell time 1000 μs, dot spacing 1000 μm, and smart stack parameter from 1 to 3. Stack 1 is used at baseline; stack 3 is used 6 and 12 weeks after.
Other Name: Fractional microablative CO2 laser system

Sham Comparator: Sham Laser Treatment
A treatment cycle will consist of three laser sessions separated by 6 weeks +/- 1 week. The procedures will take place in the outpatient clinic. Subjects assigned to sham laser will undergo the same pre-treatment with EMLA cream and will receive the same post-treatment instructions as the fractional CO2 laser subjects.
Device: Sham Laser Treatment
After obtaining a negative urine pregnancy test, each subject assigned to the sham laser treatment arm will undergo laser sessions with the fractional microablative CO2 laser system (SmartXide 2 V 2 LR, MonaLisa Touch, DEKA, Florence, Italy) using the flat vulvar probe. However, these sham laser sessions will administer no fractional CO2 laser energy. To increase the likelihood that subjects assigned to sham laser remain blinded to treatment arm assignment during the study, MonaLisa Touch will provide a software package with settings that allow for reproduction of the sounds generated during a regular fractional CO2 laser session but using 0 Watts of power.
Other Name: Fractional microablative CO2 laser system




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Mean change from baseline in subjects' vulvar pain NRS scores [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The primary outcome will be the mean change from baseline in subjects' vulvar pain NRS scores at 6, 12, 16, and 24 weeks post-randomization. At baseline and at each of these time points, subjects will be asked to rate their vulvar pain in the previous 4 weeks. The question posed to subjects will be worded as follows: "Please indicate, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain at all and 10 is the worst pain you have ever felt, the number that best describes the intensity of your vulvar pain with intercourse, on average, in the past 4 weeks. If intercourse has not been attempted, then indicate the number that best describes the intensity of your vulvar pain with other activities that elicit pain (for example, tampon insertion) in the past 4 weeks." NRS - Numeric Rating Scale - widely used clinically for the assessment of pain. A higher score would represent more pain and a poorer outcome than a lower score.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on pain severity subscale VPAQ [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire (VPAQ) was developed to assess the dimensions of the pain experience in studies of chronic pain. It consists of 6 primary (pain severity, emotional response, cognitive response, and interference with life, sexual function, and self-stimulation/penetration) and 3 supplementary subscales (pain quality, coping skills, and partner factors). The pain severity subscale of the VPAQ consists of 3 pairs of verbal rating scales (VRS) that test both pain intensity and pain affect (i.e., the emotional response generated by the feeling of pain). Each VRS is a 5-point scale with the following options: none=0, mild=1, moderate=2, severe=3, and worst possible=4, with a mean being calculated to produce the overall score for this subscale. The scale is 0-4 with 4 being the worst possible outcomes.

  2. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on pain severity subscale SF-MPQ [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), a well-validated measure of both pain affect and pain quality, consists of 15 pain descriptors rated on a 4-point VRS (none=0, mild=1, moderate=2, severe=3) to yield a total score on a scale from 0-60, where a lower score would represent less pain and a better outcome.

  3. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on pain descriptors subscale VPAQ [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire (VPAQ) was developed to assess the dimensions of the pain experience in studies of chronic pain. It consists of 6 primary (pain severity, emotional response, cognitive response, and interference with life, sexual function, and self-stimulation/penetration) and 3 supplementary subscales (pain quality, coping skills, and partner factors). The pain descriptors subscale of the VPAQ tests pain quality (i.e., how the pain is described in terms of sensory descriptors). It consists of 10 adjectives rated on a 5-point VRS (not at all=0, a little=1, somewhat=2, a lot=3, very much=4) to yield a total score from the mean of the adjectives to represent this subscale. The scale is 0-4 with 4 being the worst outcome.

  4. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the SF-36 [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) consists of 36 questions assessing physical functioning, role functioning difficulties caused by physical problems, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role functioning difficulties caused by emotional problems, and mental health. Scoring the SF-36 is a two-step process. All items are scored so that a high score defines a more favorable health state. In addition, each item is scored on a 0 to 100 range so that the lowest and highest possible scores are 0 and 100, respectively. Scores represent the percentage of total possible score achieved. In step 2, items in the same scale are averaged together to create the 8 scale scores. Scale scores represent the average for all items in the scale that the respondent answered. High scores are representative of a great health status and better outcomes, while low scores are representative of a poor health status.

  5. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the pain interference subscale of the BPI [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The pain interference subscale of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), also a generic measure, assesses the degree to which a chronic pain condition interferes with 7 general life domains: general activity, mood, walking ability, normal work, relations with other people, sleep, and enjoyment of life. The scale goes from 0-10 with 10 being the worst. It assesses pain at its worst, lease, average, and now (current pain).The mean score for the interference of all of the activities for each severity item (worst, least, average, now) is calculated with a higher score (near 10) being a worse outcome.

  6. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the life interference subscale of the VPAQ [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire (VPAQ) was developed to assess the dimensions of the pain experience in studies of chronic pain. It consists of 6 primary (pain severity, emotional response, cognitive response, and interference with life, sexual function, and self-stimulation/penetration) and 3 supplementary subscales (pain quality, coping skills, and partner factors). The life interference subscale of the VPAQ tests interference of pain with normal life activities. It consists of 11 everyday activities that could be interrupted by pain rated on a 5-point VRS (not at all=0, a little=1, somewhat=2, a lot=3, very much/I avoid because of pain=4) to yield a total score from the mean of the activities to represent this subscale. The scale is 0-4 with 4 being the worst outcome.

  7. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the life interference subscale of the FSFI [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the most-commonly used generic measure of sexual function in women in PVD studies, consists of 6 subscales related to sexual desire (2 Qs scale 1 worst - 5 best), arousal (4Qs 0 worst - 5 best), lubrication (4Qs 0 worst - 5 best), orgasm (3Qs 0 worst - 5 best), satisfaction (3Qs 0 worst - 5 best), and pain (3Qs 0 worst - 5 best). The sexual function interference subscale of the VPAQ assesses the impact of chronic vulvovaginal pain on sexual function. Higher scores indicate higher sexual functioning, with an overall range of 2-36.. A score of 26.55 has been clinically selected as the cut-off for sexual dysfunction, with a score lower than that indicating this problem.

  8. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the sexual function interference subscale of the VPAQ [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Vulvar Pain Assessment Questionnaire (VPAQ) was developed to assess the dimensions of the pain experience in studies of chronic pain. It consists of 6 primary (pain severity, emotional response, cognitive response, and interference with life, sexual function, and self-stimulation/penetration) and 3 supplementary subscales (pain quality, coping skills, and partner factors). The sexual function interference subscale of the VPAQ tests interference of pain with sexual activities. It consists of 10 sexual activities that could be interrupted by pain rated on a 5-point VRS (not at all=0, a little=1, somewhat=2, a lot=3, very much/I avoid because of pain=4) to yield a total score from the mean of the activities to represent this subscale. The scale is 0-4 with 4 being the worst outcome.

  9. Mean change from baseline in subjects' scores on the sexual function interference subscale of the PHQ-9 [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is 1 of 3 scales recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for use in primary care to measure baseline depression severity and responsiveness to treatment. The scale goes from 0-27 with 0-4 indicating minimal depression with treatment unlikely to be necessary, 5-9 indicating mild depression and 10-14 indicating moderate depression with physicians using their clinical judgement for treatment (score 5-14) based on individual patient, 15-19 indicating moderately severe depression and 20-27 indicating severe depression warrant treatment for the depression (score >14). A higher score would represent a poorer outcome for this scale.

  10. Comparison of percentages of subjects in each treatment arm endorsing improvement in symptoms on the PGIC scale [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ]
    The Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) is a 7-point scale that rates the level of satisfaction with treatment (very much improved, much improved, minimally improved, no change, minimally worse, much worse, very much worse). 10 point scale with 0=much better, 5=no change, and 10=much worse. Scores less than 5 would represent good outcomes. .



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • Meets the 2015 terminology for the diagnosis of PVD, either type 1 (chronic vulvar pain since first attempts at intercourse and/or other penetrative activities) or type 2 (chronic vulvar pain with intercourse and/or other penetrative activities following a period of no vulvar pain)
  • Vulvar pain is localized to the vestibule and provoked by vaginal intercourse, other penetrative activities (e.g., tampon insertion, self-stimulation) and/or pressure exerted on the vestibule (e.g., due to tight-fitting clothing, cycling)
  • Vestibular pain is elicited with cotton-swab test during screening medical examination
  • Subject did not experience significant symptom improvement with prior therapy following a minimum of 2 standard-of-care treatments for PVD

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently receiving any type of treatment for PVD, including topical agents (e.g., lidocaine), oral medications (e.g., tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants), pelvic floor physical therapy, psychotherapy, or locally injectable agents (e.g., botulinum toxin A)
  • Generalized vulvar pain
  • Unprovoked vulvar pain
  • History of vestibulectomy
  • Any medical, gynecologic, or iatrogenic condition (e.g., vulvar surgery) that could explain the presence of chronic vulvar pain (e.g., genitourinary syndrome of menopause, lichen sclerosus, vaginismus, significant pelvic organ prolapse, pudendal neuralgia)
  • Active vulvar and/or vaginal infection that is not due to bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia, Trichomonads or Candida (if diagnosed with any of these infections, treat and re-evaluate after negative test of cure)
  • Active urinary tract infection
  • Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Recent vaginal delivery (within 3 months post-partum)
  • Medical or psychiatric condition not under control
  • Scoring of 10 or above on the PHQ-9 and/or scoring 1 or above on the question asking about "thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way"
  • History of treatment with fractional CO2 laser to the vulvar vestibule and/or vagina
  • History of radiation to vaginal/colorectal tissue, reconstructive pelvic surgery with "mesh kits", impaired wound healing or keloid formation, and/or thromboembolic condition

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03390049


Locations
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United States, North Carolina
Wake Forest Baptist Health
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States, 27104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Catherine A Matthews, MD Professor or Ob/Gyn and Urology

Publications:
Schreiber, J., Culpeper, L. Suicidal ideation and behavior in adults. In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA. (Accessed on June 13, 2017.)

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Responsible Party: Wake Forest University Health Sciences
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03390049     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB00043442
First Posted: January 4, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 10, 2019
Last Verified: February 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Device Product Not Approved or Cleared by U.S. FDA: No
Pediatric Postmarket Surveillance of a Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No

Keywords provided by Wake Forest University Health Sciences:
SmartXide 2 V 2 LR
MonaLisa Touch
DEKA
Fractional CO2 Laser
Sham Laser
Vulvodynia
PVD
Provoked vestibulodynia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Vulvodynia
Vulvar Vestibulitis
Vulvar Diseases
Genital Diseases, Female
Vulvitis