The relative merits of Doppler sonography in the evaluation of patients with clinically and scintigraphically suspected testicular torsion.
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BACKGROUND: Since the early 1970s testicular scintigraphy has been used to diagnose the cause of acute scrotal pain. The advent of Doppler sonography further enhances diagnosis by providing simultaneous real-time scrotal imaging with superimposed testicular blood flow information. OBJECTIVES: To assess the diagnostic value of Doppler sonography in patients with acute scrotal pain and scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion. METHODS: Seventy-five patients with acute scrotal pain underwent testicular scintigraphy and Doppler sonography. All patients who had scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion were included in the study and their files were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients had scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion. Radionuclide scintigraphy accurately detected all cases of testicular torsion. However, abscess, hematoma, hydrocele and other conditions simulated testicular torsion on scintigraphy, lowering the test specificity. These pathologies were clarified by Doppler sonography that was 95% specific and 86% sensitive for testicular torsion. CONCLUSIONS: Doppler sonography should be used as the first-line modality in the evaluation of patients with suspected testicular torsion. Scintigraphy should be performed only in certain settings of equivocal sonographic findings to prevent false negative sonographic diagnosis.
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