Conservative management of scrotal pyoceles – A case series and literature review

Francesca Brancati, Peter James Fredericks, Matthew Rabinowitz, James Liu, Alex Solomon, Andrew Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objective: We describe the common presenting signs and symptoms, treatment modalities, and outcomes of acutely presenting scrotal pyoceles. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all adult patients treated for ultrasound-confirmed scrotal pyoceles between 2010 and 2020 at two sites within the [redacted]. Vitals at presentation, microbiology, and inpatient courses including antibiotic treatment and surgical procedures were collected. Results: A total of 360 scrotal ultrasounds were reviewed identifying 15 patients with pyoceles, 11 patients presenting to the emergency department and 4 hospitalized patients. The most common chief complaint was testicular pain (67%). Only seven patients (47%) met SIRS criteria upon presentation. All patients were initially treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and observation; 11 (73%) responded to this management alone, while four patients (27%) required surgical drainage due to persistent infection. No patients contracted Fournier's gangrene. Conclusion: This study reports the largest published database of scrotal pyoceles to date and describes our clinical approach to management. While pyoceles have traditionally been treated aggressively with surgical drainage, this case series suggests that most patients improve with broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment and observation alone, requiring surgical drainage if infection persists. Future investigations including multi-institutional data will be necessary to validate our institution's approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Scrotal pyocele
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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