Incidence, Causes, and Complications of Urethral Stricture Disease

E U R O P E A N U R O L O G Y S U P P L E M E N T S 1 5 ( 2 0 1 6 ) 2 – 6

Abstract: Urethral stricture refers to any narrowing of the urethra, independent of whether it affects the flow of urine out of the bladder. Urethral stricture occurs mainly in men, and the disease is a common and challenging urologic condition. The real incidence of male urethral stricture disease remains unknown, and worldwide differences have been observed based on geography, population, and mean country income. The number of patients with urethral strictures climbs sharply after 55 yr of age in the Western population. The main causes of urethral strictures consist of congenital anomalies of the mucosal membrane, infection, traumatic scarring after blunt pelviperineal trauma, urethral instrumentation, catheterisation, hypospadias failures, and inflammatory disease of the corpus spongiosum caused by lichen sclerosus. Idiopathic and iatrogenic aetiology are the main causes of urethral strictures in developed countries. Trauma remains the most common aetiology of urethral strictures in developing and Third World countries. About 90% of men with urethral stricture disease present complications. The management of urethral stricture disease may result in complications. The main direct complications of urethral surgery are bleeding, infection, incontinence, impotence, and stricture recurrence.
Patient summary: Urethral stricture is a common urologic disease affecting men. Urethral strictures result in lower urinary tract symptoms and affect quality of life. Perineal trauma, long-term urethral catheterisation, urologic instrumentation, chronic inflammatory disorders such as lichen sclerosis, and sexually transmitted diseases are typical causes.