JOURNAL ARTICLE

Adnexal Torsion in Adolescents: ACOG Committee Opinion No, 783

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Obstetrics and Gynecology 2019, 134 (2): e56-e63
31348225
Adnexal torsion is the fifth most common gynecologic emergency. The most common ovarian pathologies found in adolescents with adnexal torsion are benign functional ovarian cysts and benign teratomas. Torsion of malignant ovarian masses in this population is rare. In contrast to adnexal torsion in adults, adnexal torsion in pediatric and adolescent females involves an ovary without an associated mass or cyst in as many as 46% of cases. The most common clinical symptom of torsion is sudden-onset abdominal pain that is intermittent, nonradiating, and associated with nausea and vomiting. If ovarian torsion is suspected, timely intervention with diagnostic laparoscopy is indicated to preserve ovarian function and future fertility. When evaluating adolescents with suspected adnexal torsion, an obstetrician-gynecologist or other health care provider should bear in mind that there are no clinical or imaging criteria sufficient to confirm the preoperative diagnosis of adnexal torsion, and Doppler flow alone should not guide clinical decision making. In 50% of cases, adnexal torsion is not found at laparoscopy; however, in most instances, alternative gynecologic pathology is identified and treated. Adnexal torsion is a surgical diagnosis. A minimally invasive surgical approach is recommended with detorsion and preservation of the adnexal structures regardless of the appearance of the ovary. A surgeon should not remove a torsed ovary unless oophorectomy is unavoidable, such as when a severely necrotic ovary falls apart. Although surgical steps may be similar to those taken when treating adult patients, there are technical adaptations and specific challenges when performing gynecologic surgery in adolescents. A conscientious appreciation of the physiologic, anatomic, and surgical characteristics unique to this population is required.

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