We evaluate the reliability of hand-held Doppler (HHD) in the management of acute scrotal pain of 24 h or less duration. Between October 2003 and December 2004, patients presenting with acute scrotal pain were enrolled in this prospective study. After clinical examination, all patients had a HHD assessment. Presence or absence of Doppler arterial signals and its intensity were recorded. A blinded assessor corroborated HHD findings with the clinical, ultrasound, operative findings and final diagnosis. Primary outcome measured were sensitivity and specificity of HHD in the diagnosis of testicular torsion. Twenty-five patients presented during the study period with acute scrotal pain. The final diagnosis was testicular torsion in nine, epididymitis in 13, twisted cyst of Morgagni in two and Henoch–Schoenlein purpura in one patient. The HHD predicted all patients of testicular torsion correctly, preoperatively. HHD is a reliable diagnostic tool in the management of patients with acute scrotal pain.