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Paediatric testicular torsion in low- and middle-income countries: an OxPLORE scoping study.

BACKGROUND: Literature on paediatric surgical conditions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remains limited. As a common emergency, timely treatment of testicular torsion acts as a benchmark of adequate emergency service delivery in paediatric surgery. This scoping study aims to synthesise all existing literature on paediatric testicular torsion in LMICs.

METHODS: A database search was conducted by the OxPLORE global paediatric surgery research group to identify studies containing the terms 'testicular torsion' or 'acute scrotum' originating from LMICs. A thematic analysis was applied to the results of the search and the quality of evidence was appraised for all included articles.

RESULTS: This review included 17 studies with 1798 patients. All studies originated from middle-income countries and the majority (76%) had sample sizes smaller than 100 patients. All studies were appraised as providing less than adequate evidence. Included studies identified long delays to treatment and highlighted ongoing debates on the value of scoring systems and Doppler ultrasonography in diagnosing torsion. Major heterogeneity in surgical approaches to treatment of testicular torsion in children was also observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Literature on paediatric testicular torsion in LMICs is scarce and heterogeneous. Prospective, multi-centre research on the management of this common paediatric surgical emergency is urgently required.

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