Acute scrotal abnormalities in children: diagnosis by combined sonography and scintigraphy.AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1988 Mar; 150(3):643-6.AA
Both scintigraphy and real-time sonography have been used to assess acute symptoms involving the scrotum. However, because of its high sensitivity and ability to document physiologic abnormalities, scintigraphy has been the procedure of choice. Scintigraphy, however, lacks specificity; its value lies mainly in serving to distinguish torsion from nontorsion. The purpose of this study was to supplement scrotal scintigraphy with sonography to determine if the combination improves diagnosis and management compared with scintigraphy alone. Forty-three scrotal scintigrams and sonograms were performed on 40 consecutive patients with acute scrotal symptoms. The interpretation of the scintigram was altered by sonography in six (14%) of the combined scans, directly affecting clinical management. In three patients with acute hydroceles diagnosed by sonography, exploratory surgery was avoided despite scintigraphic findings suggesting testicular torsion. Scintigraphy was normal in two patients with spontaneous testicular detorsion, whereas sonography showed recent spermatic-cord torsion that required subsequent orchiopexy. In a patient with epididymitis and orchitis, sonography showed a complicating scrotal abscess, which was not apparent on scintigraphy and which required antibiotic treatment. The addition of sonography to the scintigraphic evaluations of children with acute scrotal abnormalities changed the diagnosis and clinical management in 14% of the patients studied.