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J Pediatr Urol. 2019 Oct 18. pii: S1477-5131(19)30321-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2019.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Paternity, erectile function, and health-related quality of life in patients operated for pediatric testicular torsion.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, New Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki (EM, ST), Finland. Electronic address:
Department of Health and Social Management, University of Eastern, Finland, Kuopio (RR), Finland.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, New Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki (EM, ST), Finland.



Spermatic cord torsion (SCT) may lead to organ loss and can potentially influence fertility. Long-term effects of SCT are not fully investigated.


The purpose was to evaluate paternity rates in adults who have had SCT in childhood and to compare the results to those of a control population. The secondary purposes were to compare paternity rates after testis-preserving surgery with those after orchiectomy and to evaluate erectile function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


Questionnaires concerning paternity, erectile function (International Index of Erectile Function [IIEF]-5 questionnaire), and HRQoL (15D questionnaire) were mailed to 74 men who had been treated for SCT and to 92 controls treated for testicular appendage torsion in 1977-1995 and who were currently older than 30 years.


Thirty-five of the 74 (47%) patients with SCT and 58 of the 92 (63%) controls responded. A same-aged control was selected for each patient with SCT. The median age at investigation was 41 (interquatile range [IQR]: 36 to 46) years in the SCT group and 41 (IQR: 38 to 46) years in the control group (p = 0.81). The paternity rate was 23 of 35 (66%) in the SCT group and 26 of 34 (76%) in the control group (p = 0.43). Nine percent of patients and controls suffered from infertility. Of the 30- to 50-year-old patients with SCT, 9 of 16 (56%) had children after orchiectomy, and 13 of 16 (81%), after detorsion (p = 0.25). Significant or moderate erectile dysfunction (IIEF-5 total score <12) was observed in 3 of 32 (9%) patients and in 1 of 35 (3%) controls (p = 0.34). Erectile dysfunction was similarly rare in both the orchidopexy and orchiectomy group. Total HRQoL scores were similar in the SCT and control groups (p = 0.69) as well as in patients with orchidopexy and orchiectomy (p = 0.50).


Paternity, erectile function, or HRQoL was not impaired in the general level in the patients with SCT in comparison with controls. Both the modes of treatment, orchiectomy or detorsion, had no significant impact on the results. However, the results cannot be generalized to the individual level. The limitations were a small sample size and inability to investigate maternal factors to the paternity. However, the results are encouraging for the patients and families.


Paternity rate and HRQoL were similar in patients with SCT and controls. The type of surgery (orchiectomy vs. detorsion) did not affect paternity rates statistically. Moderate or significant erectile dysfunction was rare in both groups.


Erectile function; Fertility; Paternity; Quality of life; Testicular torsion

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