A geographic analysis of male urethral stricture aetiology and location

BJU Int 2013; 112: 830–834

Objective: To better understand distinct regional patterns in urethral stricture aetiology and location among distinct regional populations.
Patients and Methods: Data on 2589 patients who underwent urethroplasty from 2000 to 2011 were collected retrospectively from three clinical sites, including 1646 patients from Italy, 715 from India and 228 from the USA. Data from all sites were single-surgeon series. As the data from the Italian and US cohorts were similar in aetiology, location and demographics, we combined these data to form group 1, and compared this group with men in the Indian cohort, group 2. Age, stricture site and primary stricture aetiology were identified for each patient. Stricture site and primary aetiology were determined by the treating surgeon. Primary aetiology was defined as iatrogenic, trauma including pelvic-fracture-related urethral injury (PFUI), lichen sclerosus (LS), infectious, congenital, or unknown.
Results: There were more penile strictures (27 vs 5%) and fewer posterior urethral stenoses (9 vs 34%) in group 1. There were more iatrogenic strictures identified in group 1 (35 vs 16%).When comparing the aetiology of iatrogenic strictures alone, more strictures in group 1 were attributable to failed hypospadias repair (49 vs 16%). More patients presented with LS (22 vs 7%) and external trauma (36 vs 16%) in group 2. Prevalence of strictures of infectious aetiology was low (1%) with similar proportions between the two groups.
Conclusions: We have shown that significant regional differences in stricture aetiology exist in a large multicentre cohort study. Group 1 had a higher proportion of penile strictures, largely owing to more iatrogenic strictures and, in particular, failed hypospadias repair. Group 2 had a higher proportion of PFUI and LS-associated urethal stricture. Identified infection-related urethral stricture was rare in all cohorts. Significant regional differences in stricture aetiology exist and should be considered when analysing international outcomes after urethroplasty. These data may also help the development of international disease prevention and treatment strategies.