Een gynaecologische oorzaak van bovenbuikpijn

Het Fitz-Hugh-Curtis-syndroom
Klinische les
Eva A.M. Hesius, Bram Kok en E.J.M. (Vera) Mattijssen

A gynaecological cause of upper abdominal pain: Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome

A 19-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of unexplained pain in the right upper abdomen and fever. Her medical history noted a recent uncomplicated pregnancy and birth of a healthy child. Our differential diagnosis included pyelonephritis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia causing pleural pain, a gastrointestinal cause, or a subphrenic abscess. A vaginal culture was taken as part of a second opinion by a gynaecologist. However, after a few days PCR on the vaginal sample was positive for Chlamydia trachomatis, indicating a case of Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome. This syndrome is a complication of pelvic inflammatory disease caused by a bacterial infection, most frequently Gonococcal or Chlamydia species. The patient was treated with doxycycline and recovered quickly. As a result of ignoring a possible gynaecological cause in this patient, the time to diagnosis and treatment was delayed. Left untreated, this disease might result in infertility and in complications in the newborn. A broad differential diagnosis is therefore important.

Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.