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Pediatrics. 2001 May;107(5):E73.

Risk assessment for gonococcal and chlamydial infections in young children undergoing evaluation for sexual abuse.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.



Testing for gonorrhea (GC) and chlamydial (Ct) infection in children who are being evaluated for sexual abuse is invasive and costly. We developed selective criteria to limit unnecessary testing for these infections.


Over a 10-year period (May 1988 to May 1998), clinical information was collected in a prospectively designed database for all children ages 0 to 12 years by the WakeMed Child Sexual Abuse Team in Raleigh, North Carolina. The study population comprised 3040 (2414 girls and 626 boys) of the 3064 children evaluated for sexual abuse. Children were interviewed, examined, and tested by culture for GC and Ct orally, rectally, and genitally. Information from referral sources, accompanying guardians, and previous recent physical examinations was recorded. Bivariate analyses and logistic regression were used to develop 2 sets of screening criteria to predict children at greatest risk of infection with: 1) GC and/or Ct (GC/Ct) and 2) GC alone.


Fifty-eight children were identified with GC/Ct infections (37 with GC, 25 with Ct; 4 children were coinfected). The proposed algorithm for GC/Ct infections would have identified all children with these infections, while avoiding testing 56% of children without infection. Using genital cultures only, the proposed risk score for GC/Ct infections would have identified 100% of GC/Ct cases with 85% fewer cultures compared with testing all children with oral, rectal, and genital cultures.


The use of a risk assessment algorithm for GC and Ct infections may reduce the cost and trauma of testing young children who are being evaluated for sexual abuse. sexual abuse, gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, chlamydia, Chlamydia trachomatis, sexually transmitted diseases, children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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