Ovarian torsion. Management and ovarian prognosis: a report of 45 cases

J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Sep;44(9):1759-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.11.058.


Background/purpose: Ovarian torsion in childhood and adolescence is a rare entity. Traditionally, treatment is oophorectomy. The aim of this study was to evaluate ovarian outcome and to propose a decision-making protocol for suspected ovarian torsion.

Methods: Between January 1986 and December 2007, 45 ovarian torsion cases in 40 girls were operated on. In all the cases, when the ovary was preserved, patients were clinically and ultrasonographically followed up for several months.

Results: Median age was 11 years. Median delay between the first symptoms and surgical procedure was 3 days. There was a statistical difference (P = .0003) between the mean of the largest diameter of twisted normal ovary and the mean of the largest diameter of twisted diseased ovary. Underlying pathology was benign in 22 cases and low-grade malignancy in 2 (one grade II immature teratoma and one steroid cell tumor). Conservative management was performed in 26 cases. At follow-up, 17 ovaries were follicular, 7 being black-bluish during surgery.

Conclusions: Conservative approach after detorsion of black-bluish ovaries is safe and effective in children. Although very unlikely, the fear of missing malignancy must incite to proceed with caution and can lead, when the size of the twisted ovary is greater than 75 mm, to prefer laparotomy to laparoscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Ovarian Diseases / surgery*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Torsion Abnormality / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome