The clinical findings in young adults with acute scrotal pain

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Acute scrotal pain (ASP) is a common symptom of young adults. Testicular torsion is the most important diagnosis in these cases. It is a medical emergency in which the diagnosis must be made rapidly to prevent testicular loss. This requires a high index of clinical suspicion and prompt surgical intervention. This study was conducted to examine the spectrum of diagnoses in young man with ASP in a prehospital setting, the frequency of significant diagnoses, and their outcomes.


The medical records of young adults in their obligatory military service presenting with ASP to primary care clinics from 2004 to 2014 were reviewed using the keywords: pain, testis, torsion, and orchialgia. Anamnestic data, physical findings, primary care physician decisions, and final outcomes were analyzed.


A total of 9922 medical visits were recorded. Idiopathic scrotal pain, varicocele, scrotal trauma, and genital tract infections were the most common diagnoses. In 3 visits (0.03%), testicular cancer was diagnosed. Testicular torsion was the etiology of ASP in only 12 (0.12%) visits, and 60% the testes were salvaged. The mean duration of symptoms in the salvaged group was 6.33 hours; and in the nonsalvaged group, 44 hours.


Testicular torsion is the etiology of ASP in only 0.12% of the visits to the primary care clinic.


Patient delay before attending the primary care is responsible for most of the testes lost. Patient education in addition to high index of suspicion of primary care physicians is needed for salvage of more testicles.

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