Factors associated with delayed treatment of acute testicular torsion - Do demographics or interhospital transfer matter?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Urology








emergencies; hospitals; orchiectomy; spermatic cord torsion; testis


Purpose: Testicular torsion is a true urological emergency. We determined whether a delay in treatment due to hospital transfer or socioeconomic factors would impact the orchiectomy rate in children with this condition. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the records of boys seen at a single institution emergency department who proceeded to surgery for a diagnosis of acute testicular torsion from 2003 to 2008. Charts were reviewed for transfer status, symptom duration, race, insurance presence or absence and distance from the hospital. Orchiectomy specimens were evaluated for histological confirmation of nonviability. Results: We reviewed 97 records. The orchiectomy rate in patients who were vs were not transferred to the emergency department was 47.8% vs 68.9%, respectively (p = 0.07). Symptom duration was greater in the orchiectomy group with a mean difference of 47.9 hours (p <0.01). The mean transfer delay was 1 hour 15 minutes longer in the orchiectomy group (p = 0.01). Boys who underwent orchiectomy were 2.2 years younger than those who avoided orchiectomy (p = 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that symptom duration and distance from the hospital were the strongest predictors of orchiectomy. Conclusions: Data suggest that torsion is a time dependent event and factors that delay time to treatment lead to poorer outcomes. These factors include distance from the hospital and the time delay associated with hospital transfer. © 2010 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc.

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