Delayed presentation of vernix caseosa peritonitis

A C Chambers, R Alves

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Vernix caseosa peritonitis (VCP) is a rare and poorly recognised condition resulting from a sustained foreign body reaction to the vernix caseosa of the baby. This case-based review aims to highlight its importance for any medical team managing patients with peritonitis who have undergone a recent Caesarean section.

CASE REPORT: A 31-year-old woman presented 5 weeks after a Caesarean section with symptoms and signs of peritonitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparotomy and peritoneal lavage is the mainstay of treatment for VCP. Knowledge of the condition may stop inadvertent resection of normal intra-abdominal organs. Greater awareness of VCP is required to ensure earlier recognition as patients can recover well following timely operative intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-51
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Peritonitis/diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications/diagnosis
  • Second-Look Surgery
  • Vernix Caseosa


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