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Pediatr Neonatol. 2011 Feb;52(1):51-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2010.12.002. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Ovarian torsion caused by teratoma masquerading as perforated appendicitis in a 5-year-old girl.

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  • 1Department of Medical Research and Education, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, Yilan, Taiwan.


Ovarian torsion is a well-known but poorly recognized disease. Although ovarian torsion is the most common complication of ovarian tumors in children, it is an uncommon cause of abdominal pain in pediatric patients. Ovaries can be only salvaged by prompt diagnosis and timely surgical intervention. Acute ovarian torsion without appropriate treatment may result in loss of ovarian function, tissue necrosis, and death. The objective of this article is to present a case of pediatric ovarian torsion and describe the difficulty of distinguishing it from perforated appendicitis in the emergency department (ED). We report a 5-year-old girl who presented to the ED with nausea, tenderness over the right lower guardant of her abdomen, fever, and anorexia. She was initially diagnosed with appendicitis based on physical examination and abdominal computed tomography scan and was sent to the operating room for surgical exploration. The definite diagnosis of the patient was acute ovarian torsion complicated with cystic teratoma. Primary clinicians in the ED should pay more attention to acute ovarian torsion in young children because it is difficult to diagnose in time to salvage the gynecological function when the clinical presentations masquerade as perforated appendicitis.

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