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Acute Genital Ulcers in Nonsexually Active Young Girls: Case Series, Review of the Literature, and Evaluation and Management Recommendations

Authors

  • Ilana S. Rosman M.D.,

    1. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • David R. Berk M.D.,

    1. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Susan J. Bayliss M.D.,

    1. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Andrew J. White M.D.,

    1. Division of Rheumatology, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Diane F. Merritt M.D.

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatric and Adolescent, Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
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Address correspondence to David R. Berk, M.D., Campus Box 8123, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, or e-mail: dberk@dom.wustl.edu.

Abstract

Abstract:  Acute genital ulcers rarely occur in nonsexually active young girls. When present, they can cause significant physical and emotional distress for the patient and her parents, and prompt an evaluation for sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. With this review, we aim to further characterize acute genital ulcers in nonsexually active young girls by reviewing the medical records of patients with this disorder and to offer an approach to the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of acute genital ulcers based on our understanding and knowledge of this condition. We retrospectively review our understanding and knowledge of acute genital ulcers in nonsexually active girls at a pediatric hospital. A review of the recent literature on acute genital ulcers and a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of acute genital ulcers are also presented. Twelve patients presented with acute genital ulcers, 11 of which were hospitalized for evaluation and pain management. Extensive work-up failed to reveal a specific infectious or autoimmune etiology in all but one patient, who was diagnosed with acute mycoplasma pneumonia. Acute genital ulcers in nonsexually active young girls likely represent a form of idiopathic vulvar aphthosis. Evaluation of a first episode of acute genital ulcers with mild prodromal symptoms should be limited. Treatment consists primarily of supportive care and symptom relief.

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