Urgency of evaluation and outcome of acute ovarian torsion in pediatric patients

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Jun;159(6):532-5. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.159.6.532.


Objective: To describe the symptoms, diagnostic studies, and rate of ovarian salvage among children and adolescents with ovarian torsion.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all children with acute ovarian torsion treated at a university-affiliated pediatric hospital from 1987 to 2002; prenatal cases were excluded. For each child we recorded the time from onset of symptoms to initial examination and the time from initial examination to operation. We reviewed diagnostic tests used, operative reports, and pathology reports.

Results: We identified 22 cases; the mean age was 10.2 years (range, 3-15 years). In 6 cases (27%), the ovary was salvaged. Prolonged duration of symptoms prior to initial examination was not significantly associated with ovarian necrosis. Mean time of symptoms prior to care was 76 hours for both salvaged and nonsalvaged ovaries (range, 7-159 hours). The mean time from initial examination to operation, 11 hours for salvaged ovaries (range, 1-23 hours) and 21 hours for nonsalvaged ovaries (range, 2-71 hours), was not significantly different between groups. Twenty-one patients underwent imaging; 19 of 20 ultrasounds and 4 of 5 computed tomographic scans suggested the diagnosis. Less than half (10 of 22) of the torsed ovaries contained cysts, teratomas, or other masses.

Conclusions: These data suggest pediatric ovarian torsion is a more salvageable condition than previously reported. Prolonged time of symptoms prior to initial examination does not preclude ovarian salvage. Ovarian tumor accounts for less than half of cases. Urgent imaging and surgical management may lead to improved outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Cysts / surgery
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Fallopian Tubes / surgery
  • Female
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / diagnosis
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infarction / diagnosis
  • Infarction / surgery
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Necrosis
  • Ovarian Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Diseases / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Ovary / blood supply
  • Ovary / surgery
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Teratoma / diagnosis
  • Teratoma / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Torsion Abnormality / diagnosis
  • Torsion Abnormality / surgery
  • Vomiting / etiology