Acute and intermittent testicular torsion: Analysis of presentation, management, and outcome in South East, Nigeria

  • FO Ugwumba
  • AD Okoh
  • KN Echetabu
Keywords: Acute, intermittent, management, Nigeria, orchidectomy, testicular loss, testicular torsion


Background: Testicular torsion compromises the blood supply to the testes and may result in testicular loss or damage if not dealt with promptly. It can occur either as acute testicular torsion (ATT) or intermittent testicular torsion (ITT). This study examines the presentation, management, and outcome of adult testicular torsion.

Patients and Methods: During the period January 1999 and December 2009, 34 out of 59 patients treated for testicular torsion, who had complete records, were evaluated. Operating theater and urology ward admission registers were used to identify patients.

Results: Age range was 16–50 years. Of the 34 patients, 11 (32.4%) were between 26 and 30 years old, while 16 (47.1%) were between 16 and 25 years old. Mean age was 27 years. Scrotal pain of varying severity was noted in all patients; there was associated vomiting in 21% of cases and abdominal pain in 38% of cases. Clinical diagnosis was ATT in 12 (35.3%) patients and ITT in 22 (64.7%) patients. In the ATT group, only one patient (8.3%) presented within 6 h of onset of symptoms. In the ITT group, 3 patients (13.6%) presented within 1 month of onset of symptoms while 7 (31.8%) of patients presented between 1 and 6 months after the onset of symptoms. Testicular salvage rate was 58.3% for ATT. Surgical intervention occurred within 3 h in the ATT group in 7 patients (58.3%) and in 5 patients (41.7%) within 3–6 h of onset of symptoms. In the patients with ITT, 12 patients (54.5%) were operated upon within 1 month of presentation. Preoperative external manual detorsion was performed in 1 patient.

Conclusion: Late presentation was observed, especially in the intermittent variety. Delay occurred both at pre- and intra-hospital phases. Testicular salvage rate may be improved by physician/health worker and community enlightenment. Adoption of local anesthetic may reduce intrahospital delay.

Keywords: Acute, intermittent, management, Nigeria, orchidectomy, testicular loss, testicular torsion


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eISSN: 1119-3077