Objective: To prospectively correlate pain duration, red scrotal skin, ultrasound appearance of testis, and intraoperative testis color to future testis atrophy after acute testicular torsion.
Methods: Patients 2 months-18 years old with unilateral acute scrotum were consecutively enrolled in a National Institutes of Health transcutaneous near-infrared spectroscopy study, with a subgroup analysis of the true torsion group. Presence or absence of red scrotal skin, pain duration, testicular heterogeneity on preoperative ultrasound, and intraoperative testis color based on a novel visual chart 5 minutes after detorsion were recorded. All testes underwent orchiopexy regardless of appearance. Percent volume difference between normal and torsed testicles on follow-up ultrasound was compared between patients with and without risk factors.
Results: Thirty of 56 patients who had surgical detorsion underwent scrotal ultrasound at a mean of 117 days after surgery. A color of black or hemorrhagic 5 minutes after detorsion, pain duration >12 hours, and heterogeneous parenchyma on preoperative ultrasound were associated with significant testis volume loss in follow-up compared with normal testis. All patients with a black or hemorrhagic testis had >80% volume loss. Erythematous scrotal skin was not significantly associated with smaller affected testis volume in follow-up.
Conclusion: Based on the high atrophy rate, orchiectomy can be considered for testes that are black or hemorrhagic 5 minutes after detorsion. Pain duration >12 hours and parenchymal heterogeneity on preoperative ultrasound were also associated with testis atrophy. Red scrotal skin was not a reliable predictor of atrophy and should not delay exploration.
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