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2015, Volume 31, Number 1, Page(s) 051-055     
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DOI: 10.5146/tjpath.2014.01275
Vernix Caseosa Peritonitis: Report of Two Cases
José-Fernando VAL-BERNAL, Marta MAYORGA, Pilar GARCÍA-ARRANZ, Waleska SALCEDO, Alicia LEÓN, Fidel A. FERNÁNDEZ
Department of Anatomical Pathology, Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, Medical Faculty, University of Cantabria and Idival, SANTANDER, SPAIN
Keywords: Cesarean section, Peritonitis, Vernix caseosa

Vernix caseosa peritonitis is a rare complication caused by inflammatory response to amniotic fluid spilled into the maternal peritoneal cavity. Most cases occur after cesarean section. We discuss herein two patients, aged 33 and 29 years, who presented with vernix caseosa peritonitis seven to nine days after a cesarean delivery. Laparotomy was performed and it revealed neither uterine rupture nor other surgical emergencies, but cheesy exudates on the serosal surface of all viscera. Appendicectomy was performed. Histopathologic study revealed acute fibrinous serositis and a mixed cellular infiltrate, rich in neutrophils, around fetal desquamated anucleate squamous cells. Patients´ recovery was complete. Clinical diagnosis of vernix caseosa peritonitis should be suspected in patients presenting post-cesarean section with an acute abdomen. Distinctive histopathologic findings allow making the correct diagnosis. Vigilant monitoring after diagnosis is essential as delayed morbidities may appear.

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