Interpretation of Medical Findings in Suspected Child Sexual Abuse: An Update for 2018
Most sexually abused children will not have signs of genital or anal injury, especially when examined nonacutely. A recent study reported that only 2.2% (26 of 1160) of sexually abused girls examined nonacutely had diagnostic physical findings, whereas among those examined acutely, the prevalence of injuries was 21.4% (73 of 340). It is important for health care professionals who examine children who might have been sexually abused to be able to recognize and interpret any physical signs or laboratory results that might be found. In this review we summarize new data and recommendations concerning documentation of medical examinations, testing for sexually transmitted infections, interpretation of lesions caused by human papillomavirus and herpes simplex virus in children, and interpretation of physical examination findings. Updates to a table listing an approach to the interpretation of medical findings is presented, and reasons for changes are discussed.
Last modified: 6/23/2022