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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1995 Apr;49(1):41-5.

Genital bleeding in premenarcheal children.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Japan.



The earlier occurrence of secondary sexual development and the advance in diagnostic techniques prompted us to review our recent experience with genital bleeding in childhood.


We analyzed data for all patients aged less than 10 years who were referred to Gifu University School of Medicine-affiliated hospitals from 1984 through 1993.


From a total of 330 girls, 62 (approximately 20%) complained of genital bleeding. The patients were distributed equally between 0 and 10 years of age. In 46 of 62 patients (74%), bleeding resulted from a local lesion of the vagina: 28 due to vulvovaginitis, six to urethral prolapse, six to trauma, three to foreign bodies and three to vaginal tumors. Malignant vaginal tumors were seen in two patients: sarcoma botryoides and endodermal sinus tumor. Both were diagnosed by histopathological examination of an exophytic vaginal tumor, with several weeks' interval from the initial episode of bleeding to diagnosis. The remaining 16 patients (26%), with no demonstrable local lesions, bled as a result of some form of precocious puberty. In six patients, precocious puberty was secondary to a hormonally active ovarian tumor, five of these patients also experiencing advanced breast development. Routine ultrasound and hormonal evaluations promptly detected the presence of tumor. None of three patients with idiopathic precocious puberty presented with secondary sexual development. No specific etiology was established in seven patients.


Genital bleeding alerts us to the possibility, though rare, of a genital tract tumor. Prompt and precise detection may lead to cure and preservation of future fertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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