The aim of this study was to identify clinical signs and symptoms of ovarian torsion (OT) in children and to develop a simple predictive score.
A chart review of patients with acute adnexal pathologies treated at the University Children's Hospital Basel, Switzerland, between March 2006 and June 2015 was performed. Medical records were screened for demographic and clinical data. These included clinical symptoms, laboratory studies, imaging, and type of treatment. The diagnosis OT was defined as intraoperative visualization of the torsed ovary around its pedicle at least 360 degrees. Variables predictive for OT were identified and the following score for the likelihood of having OT was developed: age (points = number of years) minus 3 points (if vomitus = “yes”) and plus 1 point (if “pain duration >12 hours”).
A total of 80 patients with acute adnexal pathologies were identified. OT was recorded in 17 (21%) cases and ovarian cysts (OC) only in 63 (79%) cases. Patients who presented with OT were significantly younger than patients with OC only (P = .001). Correspondingly, 11 (65%) of the patients with OT had no menarche compared to 3 (5%) patients with OC only (P = .001). Vomiting (P = .001), a shorter pain duration (P = .01), and an elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) (P = .01) were observed significantly more often in patients with OT. The sensitivity of a positive OT score was 0.81 and increased to 1.00 if restricted to girls between 2 to 12 years of age.
The presence of vomiting, short duration of abdominal pain, and elevated CRP level have a predictive value for the diagnosis of OT. In these patients, an exploratory laparoscopy should be conducted without delay. The presented OT score appears to be a helpful tool in diagnosing OT in children.