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Re-evaluating the role of Doppler ultrasonography in patients presenting with scrotal pain.

AIM: To describe our experience of all patients presenting to a tertiary referral centre over a 5-year time period with acute scrotum and to investigate the role of Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) for investigating this group of patients.

METHOD: A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) of a level 1 trauma centre with acute scrotum from 2009 to 2014 inclusive. Inclusion criteria included all patients who underwent an investigatory DUS and/or emergency scrotal exploration. Recorded patient demographics included age, presenting symptoms, duration of symptoms and relevant examination findings.

RESULT: Three-hundred and twelve patients were included with a mean age of 15 years (range 1 day-40 years). In total, 106 patients underwent immediate scrotal exploration, and testicular torsion (TT) was found in 30 % (n = 32/106). Two-hundred and twenty-two patients were initially investigated with DUS and 16 (7.2 %) proceeded to scrotal exploration. Of this sub-group, 2/16 presented with a history <24 h and exploration was negative for TT. In comparison, 14/16 presented with a history >24 h, and DUS findings were consistent with TT. No patients with a normal DUS represented to the ED after discharge.

CONCLUSION: DUS may prevent unnecessary scrotal exploration in patients presenting with acute scrotal pain and is useful for diagnosing TT in patients presenting with symptoms >24 h.

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