Vaginal secretion sampling in young patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether different instrumental tools (the classical cotton swab, the urethral cotton swab, the balloon shape cotton swab and cyto-brush) yield different sampling success in young patients presenting with suspected vulvovaginitis. The study was conducted in a randomised prospective way on 100 children with symptoms of vulvovaginal infection (age range: 4 months -8 years ) seen at the Clinic of Paediatric Gynaecology of the Department of Obstetric and Gynaecology, "V.Buzzi" Children's Hospital, Milano (Italy). Children's compliance and the number of samples which had to be discontinued, because of children's intolerance have allowed the evaluation of each tools. Each of these tools was tested on 25 young patients. The vaginal secretion sampling was not possible on 8 patients out of 25 with cyto-brush (32%), on 7 out of 25 with the balloon shape cotton swab (28%), on 4 out of 25 with the classical cotton swab (16%) and only 1 out of 25 with the urethral cotton swab (4%). In conclusion all the instruments tested allow sampling of vaginal secretion in young children, but the reaction and compliance of the patients has been best with the otologic cotton swab.