JOURNAL ARTICLE

When is it too late? Ovarian preservation and duration of symptoms in ovarian torsion

Katherine Adams, Emma Ballard, Akwasi Amoako, Akram Khalil, David Baartz, Kevin Chu, Keisuke Tanaka
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: the Journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2021 August 14, : 1-5
34396917
This 10-year retrospective study between 2008 and 2018, aims to investigate the duration of symptoms of ovarian torsion and the subsequent rate of ovarian preservation. Eighty-six women with surgically confirmed ovarian torsion were included. The median duration from the onset of pain symptoms to presentation (26.0 vs 6.0 h, p  < .001) and from presentation to surgery (11.0 vs 5.5 h, p  = .010) were significantly longer in women who required an oophorectomy compared to women who had conservative surgery. There was no significant difference in symptoms, signs or investigations except ultrasound finding of an enlarged ovary (94.9% vs 76.9%, p  = .026). Awareness of the condition among the community and healthcare is crucial and routine investigations should not delay management as positive Doppler flow on ultrasound does not exclude an ovarian torsion.Impact Statement What is already known on this subject? Ovarian torsion is a gynaecological emergency and may lead to ovarian necrosis, infection and peritonitis. Early recognition is essential in preserving the ovary, particularly in patients with future fertility aspirations. Currently there is no consensus regarding the time period of ovarian viability after the onset of symptoms. What do the results of this study add? We have demonstrated a significant difference in the duration from the onset of symptoms to surgery. Furthermore, the duration from the onset of symptoms to presentation (26.0 vs 6.0 h, p <.001) and from presentation to surgery (11.0 vs 5.5 h, p =.010) were significantly longer in women who required an oophorectomy compared to women who had conservative surgery. There was no significant difference in symptoms, signs or investigations except ultrasound finding of an enlarged ovary. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Women with known ovarian cysts in particular should be educated of the risk of ovarian torsion. Routine investigations should not delay management as it does not exclude an ovarian torsion. Although our study suggests that early presentation and management would reduce the risk of oophorectomy, prospective studies are required to confirm the findings.

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