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Re-evaluating the role of Doppler ultrasonography in patients presenting with scrotal pain

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To describe our experience of all patients presenting to a tertiary referral centre over a 5-year time period with acute scrotum and to investigate the role of Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) for investigating this group of patients.


A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) of a level 1 trauma centre with acute scrotum from 2009 to 2014 inclusive. Inclusion criteria included all patients who underwent an investigatory DUS and/or emergency scrotal exploration. Recorded patient demographics included age, presenting symptoms, duration of symptoms and relevant examination findings.


Three-hundred and twelve patients were included with a mean age of 15 years (range 1 day–40 years). In total, 106 patients underwent immediate scrotal exploration, and testicular torsion (TT) was found in 30 % (n = 32/106). Two-hundred and twenty-two patients were initially investigated with DUS and 16 (7.2 %) proceeded to scrotal exploration. Of this sub-group, 2/16 presented with a history <24 h and exploration was negative for TT. In comparison, 14/16 presented with a history >24 h, and DUS findings were consistent with TT. No patients with a normal DUS represented to the ED after discharge.


DUS may prevent unnecessary scrotal exploration in patients presenting with acute scrotal pain and is useful for diagnosing TT in patients presenting with symptoms >24 h.

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Correspondence to N. F. Davis.

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Mohammed, W.M., Davis, N.F., O’Connor, K.M. et al. Re-evaluating the role of Doppler ultrasonography in patients presenting with scrotal pain. Ir J Med Sci 185, 705–709 (2016).

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