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Int J STD AIDS. 2007 May;18(5):341-2.

Are we missing mumps epididymo-orchitis?

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  • 1Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Mumps epididymo-orchitis has not been recorded as a cause of testicular symptoms without systemic features (including parotitis). The aim of the present study was to assess if we were missing cases in the genitourinary clinic during a previous outbreak of mumps in the community. During a prospective pilot study from November 2005 to February 2006, all patients presenting with symptoms or signs of epididymo-orchitis were studied. These patients were assessed for previous exposure to mumps virus or vaccine, and any current evidence of systemic illness. All patients included had a full sexual health screen (loop test, chlamydia polymerase chain reaction [PCR], gonorrhoea culture, HIV and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory [test]/Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay), urinary tract infection excluded by urinalysis and mid-stream specimen of urine (MSSU) and mumps serology (Immunoglobulin M [IgM] and Immunoglobulin G [IgG]) performed. Twenty-three patients met inclusion criteria. Their ages ranged from 16 to 50 years, average 30.8 years. All had symptoms of these, 18 had testicular pain, eight swelling, (four had both pain and swelling) and three also had dysuria. On examination, 12 had tenderness, seven swelling, (two both tenderness and swelling) and six had no signs. Seventeen denied history of mumps, one patient had a record of vaccination and five described fever. None had parotid swelling. Three patients were chlamydia PCR positive, two had candida cultured, three had non-specific urethritis (>10 polymorphonuclear leucocyte/high powered field) and 13 had negative sexually transmitted infection screen (one known HIV-positive). Three had positive IgM mumps serology and two were IgG-positive. It is important to include mumps in the differential of epididymo-orchitis and to be aware of outbreaks in the community that may present with genital symptoms, as the management and partner notification will be different.

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