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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Testicular Torsion Appearance and Diagnosis on Computed Tomography of the Abdomen and Pelvis: Case Report

  • Author(s): Stephenson, Graham S.;
  • Langdorf, Mark I.
  • et al.

Introduction: Testicular torsion, or the twisting of the spermatic cord compromising blood flow to the testis, is a urologic emergency with the potential to cause infertility in male patients. The diagnosis may be clinical or confirmed using imaging, with ultrasound being the modality of choice.

Case Report: We present a case of right lower quadrant pain with radiation to the groin and right scrotum in a young male. A computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis was ordered to assess for appendicitis, which showed a “whirl” sign on the inferior periphery of the images near the scrotum. The finding was not appreciated during the emergency department visit and the patient was discharged home. He returned 48 hours later due to continued pain and was ultimately diagnosed with testicular torsion via ultrasound and surgical pathology.

Conclusion: This is the first reported case to our knowledge identifying “whirl” sign for the diagnosis of testicular torsion. This finding was not appreciated by multiple clinicians during the initial patient presentation, highlighting the uncommon nature of the finding.

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