Four children who incurred perianal injuries as a result of a sexual assault were followed on a longitudinal basis to document the anatomical changes that ensued. The subjects, whose ages ranged from 4 to 8 years, were followed from 1 week to 14 months. They were examined in both supine and prone knee-chest positions and a 35-mm camera mounted on a colposcope was used to record their injuries. At the time of the initial examination, there were a variety of findings including erythema of the tissues, edema of the skin folds, localized venous engorgement, dilation of the external anal sphincter, and lacerations of different depths. Superficial lacerations reepithelized within 1 to 11 days. The second-degree wounds in two of the children were healed by the 1- and 5-week return visits, leaving narrow bands of scar tissue. In the two subjects who were followed the longest, signs of both a second-degree laceration and a surgically repaired third-degree injury had virtually disappeared by 12 to 14 months after the assaults. The wounds in one subject, infected with a herpes simplex type 2 virus, remained erythematous for a longer period of time than did similar injuries in the other children. A skin tag created by the avulsion of the tissues in one subject persisted, although it became less obvious as it retracted into the redundant folds of the perianal tissues over time.
- Received February 14, 1992.
- Accepted August 7, 1992.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics