Medial or lateral location of the whirlpool sign in adnexal torsion clinical importance

Daniella Navve, Reli Hershkovitz, Eti Zetounie, Zvi Klein, Ronnie Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives-The whirlpool sign is used as a sonographic marker for adnexal torsion. The aims of this study were to describe the location of the whirlpool sign (lateral or medial to the ovary) and to evaluate the clinical importance of the location. Methods-Thirty patients with a confirmed surgical diagnosis of torsion and a positive whirlpool sign on sonography before surgery were included. We examined the sonographic clips of these patients. Classic signs of adnexal torsion were determined: ovarian edema, the presence of a mass, pelvic free fluid, and ovarian ischemia on Doppler imaging. The whirlpool sign was detected on grayscale and color Doppler sonography by moving the transducer to and fro along the axis of suspected torsion. Results-Sixteen of 30 patients had right-sided torsion. Of these, 7 had a lateral whirlpool sign. All 7 of these patients had an ovarian or paraovarian mass. Nine of these 16 patients had a medial whirlpool sign. Of these, 7 had an ovarian or paraovarian mass, and 2 had no mass. Of the 14 patients with left-sided torsion, all had a medial whirlpool sign. Nine of 14 these patients had an ovarian or paraovarian mass, and 5 had no mass. The mean volume of the masses among cases with the lateral whirlpool sign was significantly greater compared to those with the medial whirlpool sign (304 versus 108 cm3; P = .035). In 25 of 30 cases, the torsed components included the ovary. Conclusions-The lateral whirlpool sign is associated with enlarged masses in comparison to the medial whirlpool sign. This finding indicates the need to search meticulously for the lateral whirlpool sign in cases with enlarged masses to decide whether to operate on these patients emergently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1634
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adnexal torsion
  • Lateral
  • Medial
  • Whirlpool sign

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