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J Urol. 2002 May;167(5):2109-10.

Adult testicular torsion.

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  • 1Division of Urology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, Alabama, USA.



Testicular torsion in adulthood is thought to be relatively unusual. We compared a series of men 21 years old or older with testicular torsion with a concurrent series of younger patients with torsion.


We reviewed the medical records of patients admitted with testicular torsion in a 9-year period to hospitals affiliated with our institution. Data included patient demographics, history, physical findings, radiographic results if any, operative findings and outcome (testicular salvage versus loss).


The charts of 48 patients were evaluated. Excluded from study was a neonate with torsion and 3 males who underwent delayed surgery for presumed missed torsion. Of the remaining 44 patients we compared 17 who were 21 years old or older (range 21 to 34) with 27 younger than 21 (range 8 to 20). The salvage rate differed in the 2 age groups with 70.3% of testes salvaged in the younger group versus only 41% in the older group. A factor affecting salvage in each group was time to presentation. In the older age group patients in whom the testis was lost had a significantly higher mean delay in presentation than those in whom it was salvaged (102 versus 11 hours). A similar pattern was noted in the younger group with a mean time to presentation of 108 and 6.5 hours in those with testicular loss and salvage, respectively. Mean time between presentation and operation was 7.1 hours in the older and 4.8 in the younger group, which was not statistically different. A significant difference was noted in the degree of spermatic cord twisting. The cord was twisted a mean of 585 degrees in the adults versus 431 in the younger group.


Testicular torsion in adults was more common in our series than expected. Salvage of the affected testis was better in younger patients, presumably due to less twisting of the cord.

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