Etiology and characteristics of pediatric urethral strictures in a developing country in the 21st century.

Urethral stricture disease in children is not uncommon as assumed; however, most of the information about the etiology, features, and natural history of pediatric strictures is extrapolations from adult series as the literature on this common entity is sparse, and most of the studies are small series.

The current etiology and clinical features of urethral stricture disease in the pediatric population in the developing world were determined.

The data of children with urethral stricture disease, who had undergone treatment in the tertiary center from 2001 to 2017, were retrospectively analyzed. After excluding girls, the database was analyzed for clinical presentation, possible causes of stricture, site and number of strictures, and length of stricture and for previous interventions. Subanalysis was performed for stricture etiology by patient age, stricture length, site, previous treatments, and presentation with paraurethral abscess.

A total of 195 boys with strictures were identified. The common causes of pediatric urethral stricture were traumatic (36.9%), iatrogenic (31.8%), and idiopathic (28.7%). The anterior urethra was the location of the stricture in 141 patients (72.3%). Iatrogenic causes (due to catheterization, hypospadias repair, and valve fulguration) accounted for the majority of anterior urethral strictures (61/141 or 43.2%). Younger children had a tendency to have an iatrogenic and idiopathic cause for strictures, whereas older children had a traumatic etiology; 18.6% of strictures in children younger than 10 years were secondary to trauma, whereas 44.9% of the strictures in patients older than 10 years were traumatic in origin. Trauma was the major cause of posterior urethral strictures (53/54 or 98.1%) and was always associated with pelvic fracture. Strictures due to lichen sclerosus or infectious cause were rare (5 patients or 2.6%). The length of strictures was longer in pan anterior urethral strictures (mean: 82.0 mm) than that of those due to lichen sclerosus (mean: 42.5 mm) and in patients who had undergone previous treatment (mean: 28.7 mm).

Iatrogenic causes such as catheterization and hypospadias repair account for the majority of anterior urethral stricture disease in the pediatric population, especially the younger age-group. However, as the child grows, there is a gradual preponderance of traumatic urethral strictures, including posterior urethral strictures.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2019 May 24 [Epub ahead of print]

M S Ansari, P Yadav, A Srivastava, R Kapoor, P Ashwin Shekar

Pediatric Urology, Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India. Electronic address: ., Pediatric Urology, Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

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