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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 1996 Feb;9(1):16-20.

Pubertal metrorrhagia.

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Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.



To determine the clinical characteristics of pubertal metrorrhagia and its treatment, depending on severity; to evaluate the frequency of etiologies and the influence of hemostatic abnormalities; and to describe severe pubertal metrorrhagia. Design, setting and participants. This retrospective study examined all the files (n = 105) of adolescents presenting for pediatric gynecology consultation at a children's hospital between January 1979 and June 1993.


The mean age of patients at the first consultation was 13 years. Metrorrhagia began in the year after the first menstrual period in 85% of cases. The causes were functional (83 cases), primary hemostatic disorder (14 cases), hemostatic disorder secondary to renal or hepatic disease (7 cases), or tumor (1 case). The cases were assigned to one of three groups, according to the severity of anemia; group I, mild anemia, hemoglobin Hb > 11 g%, 64 cases; group II, moderate anemia, Hb 8-11 g%, 23 cases; and group III, severe anemia, Hb < 8 g%, 18 cases. Of the 14 patients suffering from primary hemostatic disorders, 7 had been diagnosed before the onset of metrorrhagia; the disorder was revealed by the metrorrhagia in the remaining 7. Only 1 of these patients was severely anemic (known factor X deficiency). Four patients suffering from moderate von Willebrand's disease were discovered after specific tests; they were mildly or moderately anemic. The severe anemias (group III) all occurred during the first three periods. This group had functional disorders in 15 of 18 cases. Treatment continued to be required in 10 of 18 cases followed for more than 3 years. Treatment was progestin for group I and II patients or an estroprogestin, followed by a progestin, for group III. Curettage was never required.


The most common cause of pubertal metrorrhagia is a functional disorder (80% of cases). Hemostatic disorders likely to cause severe menstrual hemorrhage were known before the age of menarche; these disorders must be controlled by hormone treatment begun before or at the time of the first menstrual period. Severe forms that arise during the initial three menstrual cycles are functional in most cases. These should be given a course of treatment lasting several years. There is a high risk of recurrence. Treatment is medical and hormonal in all cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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