Clinical state of the paediatric acute scrotum in south-eastern Victoria

Sharman P. Tan Tanny, Naveen Wijekoon, Maurizio Pacilli, Ramesh M. Nataraja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Acute scrotal pain is a common paediatric surgical presentation. Delays in treatment can result in testicular loss from torsion. It is unclear where delays occur. We aimed to investigate presentations with an acute scrotum to identify any potential areas of delay. Methods: We conducted a prospective study (April 2017–November 2018) of paediatric patients (<18 years) presenting with acute scrotal pain. Data collected included: patient demographics, history/examination findings, mode of presentation, clinical timeline details and outcomes. Results: A total of 107 acute scrotum presentations were identified: 58 (54.2%) testicular appendage torsion, 23 (21.5%) testicular torsion, 6 (5.6%) epididymo-orchidits and 20 (18.7%) other diagnoses. Median age at presentation was 11 years (4 months–16 years). Fifty-seven (53.3%) underwent emergency surgery, of whom 23 (40.4%) had testicular torsion, with 2 requiring orchidectomy. Median time from onset of symptoms to seeking medical opinion was 5.5 (0–135) h. Once assessed by a medical professional, the route to paediatric surgical review via general practitioner (GP) and local emergency department (ED) to paediatric ED was 4.84 (1.67–24.5) h; via GP to paediatric ED was 2.58 (0.75–25.5) h; via local ED to paediatric ED was 2.25 (1–7.75) h; and directly to paediatric ED was 0.45 (0–1.42) h. Conclusion: Delays in assessment and treatment of acute scrotal pain occur from the time parents are aware of symptoms to seeking medical opinion. Education to increase awareness may reduce time delays. GPs should refer patients directly to a paediatric ED. Local EDs should manage paediatric cases as per the local surgeons' skill base.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1615-1619
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • acute scrotum
  • epididymo-orchitis
  • paediatric
  • testicular appendage
  • testicular torsion

Cite this