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Volatile fatty acid findings in vaginal fluid compared with symptoms, signs, other laboratory results, and susceptibility to tinidazole of malodorous vaginal discharges.
  1. A M Jokipii,
  2. L Jokipii,
  3. E Vesterinen,
  4. E Purola,
  5. E Vartiainen,
  6. J Paavonen


    The relevance of volatile fatty acids as a diagnostic test in 79 women with abnormal vaginal discharge was evaluated by a blind, randomised, and placebo controlled trial of tinidazole as a single oral 2 g dose. Automated gas chromatography of ether extracts of discharges taken before treatment showed volatile fatty acids in 18. Volatile fatty acids correlated with malodorous, colour, and microscopically assessed altered bacterial flora and clue cells. At follow up one week later, the odour, colour, and volatile fatty acids in the vaginal discharge of women treated with tinidazole had become normal more often than in those receiving placebo. The disappearance of volatile fatty acids correlated with clinically assessed improvement in women treated with tinidazole. The volatile fatty acid test as an indicator of anaerobic bacterial flora is objective, technically simple and fast, has few problems of sample size and transportation, and may be useful in the aetiological classification and follow up treatment of non-specific vaginal discharges.

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