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Indian J Pediatr. 2009 Apr;76(4):407-10. doi: 10.1007/s12098-009-0008-2. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

Acute scrotum -etiology, clinical presentation and seasonal variation.

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  • 1Kasteli Health Centre, Crete, Greece.



The aim of the present study was to evaluate the etiology, history, physical examination findings, and seasonal variation of acute scrotal problems in children.


A retrospective review of all boys, presenting with acute scrotum to the Pediatric Surgery Clinic of the University Hospital Heraklion between January 1989 and December 2006 was performed.


A total of 140 boys presented with scrotal pain were included. Overall the commonest cause of acute scrotum was epididymo-orchitis (35%, 95%CI: 27%-43%), followed by torsion of appendages. In contrast the most common cause in boys of preschool age was spermatic cord torsion (P<0.020). All cases of spermatic cord torsion were characterized by severe testicular pain and an absent cremasteric reflex. The interval between pain initiation and presentation to our clinic was 11.4 hours (SD:3.07) when the testis was salvaged by detorsion, and 19.0 hours (SD:6.32) when the testis was removed. The difference between means was statistical significant (p<0.001). The incidence of torsion of appendages (p<0.036) and/or spermatic cord (p<0.047) was increased in winter.


The absence of cremasteric reflex in association with testicular tenderness strongly suggests testicular torsion. The low temperatures during winter may account for the increased incidence of the torsion of both the spermatic cord torsion and the appendages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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