Reliability of radionuclide scintigraphy for detection of testicular torsion: an animal study

Alan J. Fischman, Marsood Ahmad, Hemant Chheda, Charles A. Peto, Robert Wilkinson, H. William Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sodium pertechnetate Tc99m scintigraphy is a valuable technique for the evaluation of acute testicular torsion in postpubescent males. However, in neonates and children with small testicles, the method is less reliable Since the testicles of adult rats and young children are of similar size, the reliability of testicular imaging for detecting torsion was evaluated in this species. The utility of the radionuclide angiogram (RA) and static images were determined in 17 anesthetized animals before, 2 h after and 20 h after ligation of the left spermatic cord. The preligation RA was asymmetric in 27% of animals, while the static images were abnormal in 18%. Postligation flow and static images were abnormal in 57% and 82% of the animals (localized to the correct side, 38% and 36%), respectively. The animals with vascular occlusion failed to show any statistically significant greater incidence of decreased radionuclide accumulation on the ligated side. To determine the influence of relative perfusion and extracellular fluid space of the scrotum and testicles on the images, additional studies were performed with201T1 (representing perfusion) and99mTcO4- (representing ECF space). Perfusion was approximately equal in the testis and epididymis but significantly higher in the scrotum. These results suggest that scrotal scintigraphy is unreliable for detecting acute torsion of small testicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-661
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number8-10
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Neonate
  • Radionuclide angiogram
  • Sodium pertechnetate Tc99m
  • T1
  • Testicular scan
  • Testicular torsion


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