25-year-old woman presents with RUQ abdominal pain she has had for 1 week. She denies fever and vomiting. She also describes some vague pelvic pain for the past month. She is unsure if her vaginal discharge is abnormal. She thinks she was treated for an STI a few years ago, also unsure. No urinary symptoms.
Examination reveals tenderness to palpation in the right upper quadrant, negative murphy’s sign. You do a bedside u/s that does not show GS/cholecystitis. LFTs/lipase are nl. GI cocktail doesn’t help. Being a thorough emergency physician you decide to do a pelvic exam and find +purulent discharge with an erythematous cervix and mild cervical tenderness to palpation. No adnexal ttp b/l.
Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome (FHCS).
FHCS is a relatively rare secondary infection of the perihepatic region following pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Patients generally have mild to moderate PID findings on pelvic examination. Most infections are chlamydial; gonococci are another infectious etiology. Because the infection does not affect the liver or biliary system itself, liver function test results and ultrasound examination results are normal. Abdominal CT can be diagnostic for FHCS; perihepatic inflammation will be noted.
Outpatient treatment for Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome is similar to that for PID: ceftriaxone, 250 mg IM once, and doxycycline, 100 mg PO twice daily for 14 days, with or without metronidazole, 500 mg PO twice daily for 14 days. Patients who are hemodynamically stable may be discharged home with OBGYN f/u.
Although this is a rare diagnosis just keep it in the back of your mind. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are often asymptomatic in women, undiagnosed and lead to infertility (vs men where they tend to have symptoms). So if the clinical scenario fits, do the pelvic exam.
Sources: Peer IX, uptodate