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Background: Testicular torsion is surgical emergency. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of testicular torsion is essential for testicular viability. At surgical exploration, the spermatic cord is seen twisted a variable number of times around its longitudinal axis. There is scant data regarding the degree of twisting and its association with testis outcomes. The purpose of our study is to explore how the degree of torsion factors into testicular outcome using follow-up data.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of adolescent males who presented with testicular torsion to our institution, looking at duration of pain symptoms, degree of torsion documented in the operative note, procedure performed (orchiopexy versus orchiectomy), and follow-up clinic data for whether testicular atrophy after orchiopexy was present. A non-salvageable testis was defined as orchiectomy or atrophy. Receiver operator characteristics (ROC), multivariate, and logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the probability of a non-salvageable torsed testis based on time and degree of twisting.

Results: Eighty-one patients met our study criteria, with 55 testes deemed viable and 26 non-salvageable. We found a 25.7% atrophy rate after orchiopexy. Cut-off values of 8.5 h and 495 degrees of torsion would provide sensitivities of 73% and 53%, respectively, with specificity of 80% for both. Only duration and age were correlated with the risk of non-salvage on multivariate analysis. Logistic regression generated linear probability formulas of 4 + (3 × hours) and 7 + (0.05 × degrees) in calculating the probability of non-salvage with strong correlation.

Conclusions: We were able to derive separate formulas to determine the viability of the torsed testis based on symptom duration and degrees of twisting. Fifteen h of symptoms and 860 degrees of torsion gives testes a 50% salvage rate. Interestingly, we also found that about 1 out of every 4 testes undergoes atrophy after orchiopexy.


This article was originally published in Translational Andrology and Urology, available at doi: 10.21037/tau.2017.09.10.

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