Urgency of evaluation and outcome of acute ovarian torsion in pediatric patients

Jennifer F. Anders*, Elizabeth C. Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the symptoms, diagnostic studies, and rate of ovarian salvage among children and adolescents with ovarian torsion. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all children with acute ovarian torsion treated at a university-affiliated pediatric hospital from 1987 to 2002; prenatal cases were excluded. For each child we recorded the time from onset of symptoms to initial examination and the time from initial examination to operation. We reviewed diagnostic tests used, operative reports, and pathology reports. Results: We identified 22 cases; the mean age was 10.2 years (range, 3-15 years). In 6 cases (27%), the ovary was salvaged. Prolonged duration of symptoms prior to initial examination was not significantly associated with ovarian necrosis. Mean time of symptoms prior to care was 76 hours for both salvaged and nonsalvaged ovaries (range, 7-159 hours). The mean time from initial examination to operation, 11 hours for salvaged ovaries (range, 1-23 hours) and 21 hours for nonsalvaged ovaries (range, 2-71 hours), was not significantly different between groups. Twenty-one patients underwent imaging; 19 of 20 ultrasounds and 4 of 5 computed tomographic scans suggested the diagnosis. Less than half (10 of 22) of the torsed ovaries contained cysts, teratomas, or other masses. Conclusions: These data suggest pediatric ovarian torsion is a more salvageable condition than previously reported. Prolonged time of symptoms prior to initial examination does not preclude ovarian salvage. Ovarian tumor accounts for less than half of cases. Urgent imaging and surgical management may lead to improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-535
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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