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Neonatal testicular torsion

Adam B Hittelman, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Laurence S Baskin, MD, FAAP
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD


Neonatal testicular torsion, defined as torsion occurring within the first 30 days of life, is a rare occurrence. However, it can result in vascular compromise leading to testicular ischemia and injury, and if not corrected, necrosis and testicular nonviability. Nevertheless, the management of neonatal testicular torsion remains controversial, as opinions differ on whether surgery can successfully salvage the torsed testis, which may have occurred in utero, and whether the contralateral side is at increased risk for torsion.

The clinical presentation and the controversies regarding management of neonatal testicular torsion will be reviewed here. Testicular torsion in children and adolescents is presented separately. (See "Causes of scrotal pain in children and adolescents", section on 'Testicular torsion'.)


Neonatal testicular torsion is defined as torsion that occurs prenatally and up to 30 days after delivery [1].

Neonatal testicular torsion can be divided into two groups based upon the timing of detection before or after birth.

Prenatal (non-acute) event – Because prenatal testicular torsion is an in utero event, it is a non-acute event. The torsion can generally be detected in the immediate postpartum period (ie, at delivery or during the initial newborn examination), though may be misinterpreted as a nonpalpable, undescended testicle ("vanishing testis syndrome").

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 27, 2016.
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