Perinatal testicular torsion: The clear cut, the controversial, and the "quiet" scenarios

J Pediatr Surg. 2022 Oct;57(10):288-297. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.10.003. Epub 2021 Oct 10.


Background: Perinatal testicular torsion (PTT) is a catastrophic event that occurs in utero or up to 30 days postnatally, with testicular loss being the most common outcome.

Objective: To assess clinical evaluation, surgical management and clinical outcomes in patients with PTT in a quaternary referral pediatric center, to determine testicular salvageability and propose future management options.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a cohort of males born outside the quaternary center with a diagnosis of PTT, from May 2000 to July 2020. Data collection included mode of delivery, gestational age, birth weight, testicular examination at birth, clinical presentation, ultrasound results at diagnosis, surgical management and findings, perioperative complications, and follow-up.

Results: 62 patients, including 2 patients with bilateral asynchronous PTT, were identified. Median (IQR) gestational age and birth weight were 39 (38-39.4) weeks and 3.4 (3.1-3.72) kg, respectively. Abnormal testicular examination at birth was found in 69% (Table 1). Doppler ultrasound was performed in all but 1 patient. 59 patients underwent surgery, 21 within 4 h, with bilateral exploration in 44 cases. Affected and non-affected testicles were explored in 76% and 98% of cases, respectively. 3 "nubbins" were found, of which 2 were excised. 3 nonsurgical complications were identified. During a median (IQR) follow-up of 3 (3-3) months, 63 testicles were removed or found to be non-functional, with compensatory hypertrophy in 38% of patients.

Conclusion: Given that 3% of our patients presented with asynchronous bilateral PTT, as well as the safety of general anesthesia in a referral pediatric hospital, early bilateral scrotal exploration of PTT is recommended.

Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Asynchronous; Neonatal testicular torsion; Orchiectomy; Orchiopexy; Perinatal testicular torsion; Testicular atrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Orchiectomy / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spermatic Cord Torsion* / diagnosis
  • Spermatic Cord Torsion* / surgery
  • Testis / diagnostic imaging
  • Testis / surgery