Hematometrocolpos Disguised as Abdominal Pain.J Emerg Med. 2017 Nov; 53(5):e97-e99.JE
Hematometrocolpos caused by an imperforate hymen is a common form of vaginal outflow obstruction. This is a rare pediatric anomaly that can present with atypical or vague symptomatology, such as abdominal pain or constipation or urinary retention in the setting of amenorrhea. It is essential to obtain a gynecologic history and inquire about menstrual cycles to properly evaluate a young female with such a common complaint as abdominal pain. Failure to perform a gynecologic examination in the emergency department setting may delay diagnosis and appropriate care for this rare condition, which can lead to serious complications.
This case describes a 12-year-old female who presented to the emergency department with a complaint of abdominal pain and urinary symptoms. Because of the severity of the patient's pain on abdominal examination, we obtained a computed tomography scan of her abdomen and pelvis, which showed findings consistent with hematometrocolpos. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: Obstruction of the female genital outflow tract is a rare occurrence. Because abdominal pain is such a common complaint, not only in the pediatric emergency department but also in the outpatient setting, the diagnosis of hematometrocolpos may easily go undiagnosed for months or even years. Obtaining a complete gynecologic history is key when evaluating young females with abdominal pain or urinary retention. Early detection and timely management can prevent serious complications and long-term sequelae. This patient had a successful outcome and early surgical management of her hematometrocolpos which was caused by an imperforate hymen.