Dr. med. Dirk Manski

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Review Literature: (Luzzi and O'Brien, 2001).

Definition, Classification and Etiology of Epididymitis

Acute or chronic inflammation of the epididymis of various etiologies:

Epididymitis: Signs and Symptoms

Diagnosis of Epididymitis

Urine analysis:

Testicular Ultrasound Imaging

Testicular ultrasound examination is mandatory for differential diagnosis to testicular torsion. In epididymitis, ultrasound imaging shows an enlarged epididymis, often together with a hydrozele [ultrasound imaging: epididymitis]. It is important to rule out abscess formation, involvement of the testicular parenchyma and rule out testicular torsion with Doppler ultrasound (see below).

ultrasound imaging of an epididymitis

Ultrasound imaging of epididymitis: typical signs are an enlarged epididymis with a hydrocele. With kind permission of N. Günther, Augsburg.

Doppler ultrasound:

Typical findings for an epididymitis are increased testicular perfusion and an enlarged epididymis. Doppler ultrasound is important for the exclusion of a testicular torsion; however, a false-positive detection of testicular blood flow is possible. An arterial Doppler signal in the testicle should disappear by the compression of the spermatic cord at the external inguinal ring. If the signal is not affected with compression of the spermatic cord, a scrotal vessel is transmitting the Doppler signal.

Surgical Exploration of the Scrotum

In the slightest doubt about the diagnosis of epididymitis, a surgical exploration of the scrotum must be done to exclude testicular torsion. When a testicular tumor might be possible, an inguinal approach to the testis is necessary.

Diagnosing voiding dysfunction

Uroflowmetry, exclusion of residual urine in the bladder, retrograde urethrography and/or cystogram should be performed after healed epididymitis, if a voiding dysfunction is suspected. Voiding dysfunctions are most likely in children and in elderly patients with epididymitis.

Treatment of Epididymitis

Symptomatic Treatment

Antibiotic Treatment of Epididymitis

After obtaining a urine culture a calculated antibiotic treatment is initiated:

Suspected sexually transmitted epididymitis:

Ciprofloxacin 500 mg p.o. or ofloxacin 300 mg p.o. or ceftriaxone 250 mg i.m. once followed by doxycycline 100 mg p.o. 1-0-1 for at least 7 days. Alternatives: azithromycin 1 g p.o. once a week.

Epididymitis secondary to urinary tract infection:

Cefuroxim 500 mg 1-0-1 or ciprofloxacin 500 mg 1-0-1 or other quinolone for at least 10 days.

Surgical Therapy

Index: 1–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Luzzi und O’Brien 2001 LUZZI, G. A. ; O’BRIEN, T. S.:
Acute epididymitis.
In: BJU Int
87 (2001), Nr. 8, S. 747–55

  Deutsche Version: Epididymitis: Ursachen und Therapie