Disparities in pediatric gonadal torsion: Does gender, race and insurance status affect outcomes?

Jessica L. Buicko, Shevonne S. Satahoo, Krishnamurti A. Rao, Juan E. Sola, Holly L. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Ovarian and testicular torsions are emergencies requiring prompt surgical treatment to preserve gonadal function. However, diagnosis in females is often delayed owing to nonspecific symptoms. We sought to assess disparities in management and outcomes between males and females with torsion. Methods: The National Inpatient Sample was queried for pediatric patients with “emergent”, “urgent”, or “trauma center” admission and ICD-9 codes for ovarian torsion and testicular torsion. Demographic data, operative procedure, gonadal loss, length of stay (LOS), total charges (TC), and mortality were recorded. Results: There were 2254 unweighted encounters. The average age was 11.56 ± 5.30 years for males and 12.55 ± 3.72 years for females (p < 0.001). Among males, 90% underwent surgery (p < 0.001), of which 40% required orchiectomy. Conversely, 73% of females had surgery (p < 0.001), of which 78% had oophorectomy. Subsequent analysis with only patients who underwent surgery showed that insurance status (p = 0.012), race (p < 0.001), and U.S. region (p < 0.001) were significantly different between males and females. Gender specific analyses showed that hospital control, hospital location/teaching status, and treatment year were also significant. As such, these six factors in addition to age and gender were used for propensity score matching (PSM). PSM produced two gender cohorts of 755 encounters each. Females had longer LOS (2.44 ± 1.84 days vs. 1.28 ± 2.27 days for males, p < 0.001) and had higher TC ($20,058.44 ± 13,420.82) compared to males ($12,386.58 ± 12,793.34), p < 0.001. Logistic regression revealed that males (OR 0.163 [0.130–0.206]) and older patients (age OR 0.924 [0.903–0.946]) were less likely to undergo gonadal loss. Compared to those with private insurance, those with Medicare/Medicaid were more likely to have gonadal loss (1.401 [1.101–1.783]). Conclusion: Disparities exist in the management of torsion based on gender. Overall, females had higher charges, had longer hospitalization, and were more likely to have gonadal loss despite current data supporting gonadal preservation for nearly all cases of ovarian torsion. Clinical Study: Level III Evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1395
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Gender
  • Oophorectomy
  • Orchiectomy
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Testicular torsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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