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Prepubertal girl with vaginal bleeding.

BACKGROUND: Prepubertal children with vaginal bleeding are frequently brought in to the Emergency Department (ED) for evaluation with the primary concern of sexual abuse. Appropriate history and physical examination can help recognize the specific cause and allay anxiety of parents and reduce unnecessary work-up.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this report is to describe a frequently unrecognized cause of vaginal bleeding that is unrelated to sexual abuse.

CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 6-year-old African-American girl referred to our ED as a case of vaginal bleeding with suspicion of sexual abuse. She was clinically diagnosed to have urethral prolapse.

CONCLUSION: In prepubertal girls with vaginal bleeding, urethral prolapse should be strongly considered as a diagnostic possibility. Increased physician awareness and early recognition of urethral prolapse avoids unnecessary examinations and patient anxiety and prevents misdiagnosis as sexual abuse.

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