JOURNAL ARTICLE
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What is beyond testicular torsion and epididymitis? Rare differential diagnoses of acute scrotal pain in adults: A systematic review.

BACKGROUND: Acute scrotal pain is a urological emergency. While for testicular torsion and acute epididymitis clinical recommendations are well established, few is known about low incidence causes of acute scrotal pain. Our aim is to identify and characterise rare differential diagnoses of acute scrotal pain in order to give diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library databases up to February 2019 according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. The systematic review protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018099472).

RESULTS: Eighty-four publications were selected for analysis. The databases provided mostly case reports, series and small studies, overall reporting on a cohort of 245 cases. Tumors, segmental testicular infarction, testicular vasculitis, pancreatitis, brucellosis, spermatic vein thrombosis, acute aortic syndrome and appendicitis were identified as rare underlying causes of acute scrotal pain and were characterised. As a result of our data analysis we were able to draw an overview of the rare differential diagnoses and diagnostic management of acute scrotal pain.

CONCLUSION: Rare differential diagnoses of acute scrotal pain are susceptible to misinterpretation as testicular torsion or acute epididymo-orchitis. Surgical management is indicated in case of suspicion for torsion or tumor. We herein present knowledge of the rare differential diagnoses and raise awareness for associated systemic disease in order to facilitate disease management and increase the potential for testicle-sparing treatment.

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