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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2001 Nov;14(4):175-80.

Adolescent sexual assault: documentation of acute injuries using photo-colposcopy.

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University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92103-8449, USA.



To document the frequency and types of genital injuries in adolescent women examined acutely following a sexual assault, and determine any historical correlates of injury.


Retrospective chart review.


Sexual Assault Response Team services at a community hospital in an urban setting.


All female patients aged 14-19 yr who were referred by law enforcement for an acute sexual assault examination and were examined between May 1994 and May 1999.


The frequency of signs of genital trauma at various anal and genital sites, as recorded by the examining clinician.


Charts of 214 female subjects (mean age 16.3 yr) were reviewed. The most common findings were posterior fourchette tear (36%); erythema of the labia minora, hymen, cervix, or posterior fourchette (18%-32%); and swelling of the hymen (19%). Time to examination was highly correlated with the degree of injury noted (P =.000). The incidence of hymenal tears in self-described virgins was higher than in nonvirgins (19% vs. 3%, P =.008); however, the total number or severity of other injuries was not significantly higher in virgins. Victims reporting anal penetration had a higher frequency of anal injuries than those who denied such contact (14/31, 61% vs. 2/150, 1%; P =.000).


Tears of the posterior fourchette or fossa were the most common findings (40%). Hymenal tears were uncommon, even in self-described virginal girls. Timely examination of adolescent victims is important to document injuries; however, many victims will still not have signs of bruising, abrasions, or tears.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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