Precocious Maturity.

The case of a female child has been reported that weighed fourteen pounds at birth and had large breasts and a little hair on the pubes, which at the age of two months had become considerable. At the age of nine months a bloody vaginal discharge was observed, and at this time the child weighed twenty-eight and one-half pounds. The discharge recurred at monthly intervals, increasing progressively in amount until it reached that observed in adults.

At the age of 14 ½ months the girl presented the general appearance of a child of three years. With her clothing she weighed thirty-six pounds, and her height was thirty-two and a half inches. The breasts were prominent, and each contained a mass of glandular tissue as large as a pigeon's egg. The nipples were well developed and surrounded by a dark pink areola and a little hair.

The mons veneris and the labia majora were large and covered with a profuse growth of hair. The labia minora were well differentiated and fairly large. The clitoris was distinct but not disproportionately large. The hymen was distinct and easily distensible. The vagina was distensible and contained rugas, and the cervix was distinctly felt.

From a study of this case and of those recorded in the literature the conclusion is reached that precocious maturity is a physiologic congenital anomaly of development. Menstruation is never the first symptom, but is always preceded and accompanied by others. Menstruation most often appears in the first two years and is accompanied by ovulation. The attributes of maturity are not all acquired before the age of seven or eight years. Sexual desire is soon developed and pregnancy may occur early. Menstruation may continue as long as when it begins at the normal time.

The etiology of precocious maturity is unknown and the relation to precocious menstruation is obscure. There is no medical treatment. As the mental development of the unfortunates afflicted with this condition is usually far less than the sexual and physical, they must be carefully guarded against voluntary or involuntary intercourse.—Archives of Pediatrics.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.