How Do You Know If You Have Orchitis & How Do You Test For It?

How Do You Know If You Have Orchitis?

Orchitis usually is associated with mumps virus but is not the primary symptom. Its initial symptom is the involvement of a parotid salivary gland known as parotitis in which there is swelling on the sides face and at the angle of the mandible which is bilateral mostly but can be unilateral in few cases. As the disease progresses there is the involvement of testis with redness and pain as the initial symptoms. After 1 to 2 days there is swelling of the scrotal sac and edema/fluid filling in it. There can be involvement of other organs like the pancreas, ovaries in females, etc. The appearance of such symptoms in a similar progression will help you to know that you are suffering from orchitis. For obvious reasons, orchitis is only seen in males but infection by the mumps virus can occur in both genders with other organ involvement in females like ovaries.

Consultation with a recognized doctor as soon as the symptoms start to appear will not only help the patient but also provides an early diagnosis for better treatment. History taking in a rightful manner with proper progression is usually sufficient to make the diagnosis of orchitis. In the next step, clinical examination is done by the physician which is very helpful for the diagnosis of the condition because of the characteristic appearance as well as the relation with the history. There are a few other conditions that may resemble the symptoms but the progression of the disease will be variable. Torsion of the testis, epididymo-orchitis are few of the other differential diagnoses for orchitis because the presentation is very similar to it.

For the difference between alternate diagnosis , it is very peculiar to note that torsion of testis is a very acute condition and presents within few hours and is much more painful as compared to orchitis. The clinical signs are also less evident in torsion of testis because of the acute presentation. Epididymo-orchitis has a nearly same presentation as that of orchitis but the causative organism may differ. Epididymo-orchitis is more related to bacterial infection specially escherichia coli, chlamydia in sexually active males, etc. (2)

How Do You Test For Orchitis?

For the testing of orchitis and better analysis of the testis and to differentiate between epididymo-orchitis and torsion of testis, Colour Doppler ultrasonography could be done. In torsion of testis, there is decreased blood flow through the vessels in the testis whereas in epididymo-orchitis there is increased blood flow in the vessels in the testis. Blood examination in the form of c reactive protein and erythrocytes sedimentation rate can be done to check the markers of inflammation. These inflammatory markers are raised if there is an inflammatory process going in the body.(1)

For the conformational diagnosis of orchitis, serum immunofluorescence antibody testing can be done for the mumps virus which when found positive confirm the diagnosis of mumps virus infection.(2) Although this can confirm the diagnosis these tests are usually not required because the clinical examination and history taking is sufficient to make the diagnosis.

Conclusion

The symptoms of orchitis are very peculiar and even so easy to diagnose. But a few of the other conditions can sometimes create confusion in the patient’s mind. Reporting to a recognized physician is very much important as early as the symptoms begin to appear because it may lead to earlier symptomatic relief and halt the progression of the disease.it would also help reduce the complications caused by orchitis. Although clinical examination by the doctor will easily lead to the diagnosis of orchitis color Doppler ultrasonography can be ordered by the doctor to differentiate whether the epididymis is also involved or not. For the confirmation of mumps virus infection or in doubtful cases antibody detection testing can be done.

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