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J Urol. 1997 Dec;158(6):2158-61.

Mumps orchitis: report of a mini-epidemic.

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Urologic Clinics, Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.



The incidence of mumps orchitis has declined dramatically since the introduction of vaccination. While in the past cases of mumps have only been seen occasionally at our institution, recently there has been a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases.


Between June 1995 and April 1996, 11 patients with severe mumps orchitis were hospitalized at our clinic. Medical history, therapeutic measures and clinical outcome were recorded for each patient.


All patients showed marked scrotal swelling with a temperature above 38.5 C. Serum C-reactive protein was significantly elevated (mean 140 mg./l.). The vaccination status of 1 of the 11 patients (9%) was unknown. Medical records from the remaining 10 patients indicated that they had not been vaccinated. Nine patients (82%) had a typical mumps parotitis preceding the orchitis. In 2 patients the clinical diagnosis of parotitis was uncertain but mumps serology was positive. None of the patients showed other manifestations of mumps. Antibodies to the mumps virus (IgG and IgM) were determined in 6 patients and positive in all cases. The average interval between parotitis and onset of orchitis was 10 days. All patients were hospitalized for an average of 6 days. Treatment included bed rest with local cooling, scrotal support and systemic treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ciprofloxacin or clavulanic acid/amoxicillin was administered as bacterial orchitis could not be excluded at initial presentation. The mean time to cessation of fever was 3.6 days (range 3 to 5). Antibiotics were administered for an average of 8.8 days (range 7 to 13) and anti-inflammatory drugs were given an average of 8.6 days (range 7 to 11). One patient required scrotal exploration.


Since the introduction of a vaccine against the mumps virus there is a diminished risk for mumps and its complications. However, in case of scrotal swelling mumps orchitis should still be considered. Despite vaccination mumps has not been erradicated. Therefore, continued vaccination should be considered an important step in minimizing clinical outbreaks and working towards a possible eradication of this disease in the future.

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