Color Doppler Imaging in the Diagnosis of the Acute Scrotum

Eur Urol. 1997;32(4):457-61.


Objectives: To determine the value of color Doppler imaging (CDI) in the diagnosis of acute scrotum.

Materials and methods: We evaluated 102 consecutive patients referred to our institution with scrotal pain. All patients were evaluated by physical examination, ultrasound with stethoscopic Doppler followed by CDI. Radionuclide scanning was performed only in 14 patients. Patients with a diagnosis of testicular torsion by CDI underwent surgical exploration. Patients with CDI diagnosis of epididymorchitis were treated with intravenous antibodies and underwent repeat CDI evaluation after treatment.

Results: Of the 102 patients evaluated ages 11-44, CDI diagnosed 18 patients with testicular torsion and 78 patients with epididymorchitis. Cases of testicular torsion were found to have absent flow on CDI. CDI findings of normal or increased flow were present in all patients with epididymorchitis. All cases of torsion were confirmed on surgical exploration, 11 patients underwent orchidopexy and 7 patients underwent orchiectomy. No cases of testicular atrophy were encountered on long-term follow-up in patients with epididymorchitis. Diagnoses in the remaining patients were testicular tumor 1, testicular abscess 2, scrotal hematoma 2 and incarcerated hernia 1. CDI was found to be 100% sensitive and 100% specific in the diagnosis of the acute scrotum.

Conclusion: We found CDI to be more accurate and reliable than physical examination in conjunction with gray-scale ultrasound and Doppler stethoscopic examination in the differential diagnosis of the acute scrotum. CDI is practical and can be performed in a rapid manner. CDI should become an integral part of the urologist's armamentarium in the differential diagnosis of the acute scrotum.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epididymitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Epididymitis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orchiectomy
  • Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scrotum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Scrotum / pathology
  • Testicular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Testicular Diseases / surgery
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color*