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What is a 'whistling scrotum'? Ohio man, 72, becomes 'first person' to suffer from symptom

The X-ray scans revealed that the patient has an excessive amount of air trapped in his body, as per reports
UPDATED JUN 30, 2022
World first man with whistling scrotum (Mykyta Martynenko/Unsplash and American Journal of Case Reports)
World first man with whistling scrotum (Mykyta Martynenko/Unsplash and American Journal of Case Reports)

Believe it or not but an unnamed man became the world first patient to be diagnosed with "whistling scrotum," if the medical reports are to be believed. The symptom came to light when he went to a hospital complaining of the discomfort and noise coming from his testicles. The body scans revealed that his lungs had collapsed, meaning that air was slowly building up inside his body.

The unidentified 72-year-old man, from Ohio, turned up at A&E with his concerns about his "whistling" scrotum, as well as shortness of breath and a swollen face. According to the American Journal of Case report, the situation was life-threatening. His lungs had collapsed due to an excessive amount of air floating around his body, X-rays revealed. This in turn led to the shortness of breath. To ease the condition, two plastic tubes were inserted into his chest to drain the excess air. As per NY Post, Dr Brant Bickford and colleagues who first treated the patient, transferred him to another hospital for further treatment. But his condition got worse as the amount of air trapped between his lungs and the chest wall kept increasing, which made doctors add a new chest tube. An open wound from an earlier testicle surgery, which was done five months ago, was found to be the source of the man's discomfort and the hissing noise coming from his scrotum. Eventually, doctors had to remove both the man's testicles to try to resolve his problem. After a few days, his lungs recovered and he was discharged. He did, however, have air trapped in his scrotum, a condition called pneumoscrotum, and abdomen for an additional two years, which was described as an “abnormally long time.”


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What is Pneumoscrotum?

The American Journal of Case report spoke about Pneumoscrotum. It said, "It is a rare clinical entity. When air is present within the scrotum, a prompt evaluation is required for source identification and stabilisation of the patient. Taking a detailed history of events leading up to the pneumoscrotum is essential since a significant percentage are of iatrogenic or traumatic origin. Our case of pneumoscrotum from suspected spontaneous bilateral pneumothoraces was unusual."

The report further said, "Our patient had an open scrotal wound from a recent scrotal procedure, which allowed the air to escape from his abdominal compartment, and resulted in his concern of 'scrotal whistling'. Whether the air escape attenuated the patient's presentation and led to a more favourable outcome will never be known. Nonetheless, he was he was successfully treated with multiple chest tubes, subcutaneous air drains, and supportive care."