Pelvic fracture can be complicated by posterior urethral injury (PUI) in up to 25% of cases. PUI can produce considerable morbidity, including urethral stricture, erectile dysfunction (ED), and urinary incontinence. Optimal management of PUI is unclear, however, the current gold standard is placement of a suprapubic cystostomy with delayed urethroplasty (SCDU) performed several months later. Another option is early primary realignment (PR) with urethral catheter, performed either open or endoscopically. Through a systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to compare PR and SCDU regarding stricture, ED, and urinary incontinence rates. In light of advancing endoscopic techniques, we also aimed to compare early endoscopic realignment (EER) alone with SCDU.
PubMed, Medline, and Embase were searched for eligible studies comparing PR, including EER, and suprapubic cystostomy plus delayed urethroplasty from database inception until July 17th, 2018. We also reviewed reference lists from relevant articles. Study quality assessment was conducted using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa (mNOS) scale (maximum score 9).
From 461 identified articles, 13 studies encompassing 414 PR and 308 SCDU patients met our eligibility criteria. Twelve studies were retrospective non-randomized case studies, with 1 prospective randomized case study. Included studies were of moderately low quality (mNOS mean score: 6.0 ± 0.6). Meta-analysis demonstrated that PR and SCDU had similar stricture rates [odds ratio (OR): 2.14; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67-6.85; p = 0.20], similar rates of ED (OR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.62-1.81; p = 0.84), and similar rates of urinary incontinence (OR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.49-1.79; p = 0.86). Six studies compared EER alone (229 patients) versus SCDU (195 patients). Meta-analysis demonstrated that these modalities also had similar stricture rates (OR: 4.14; 95% CI: 0.76-22.45; p = 0.10), similar rates of ED (OR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.41-1.54; p = 0.49), and similar rates of urinary incontinence (OR: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.48-2.53; p = 0.82).
For PUI patients, neither PR nor EER produces superior outcomes compared to SCDU regarding stricture, ED, and urinary incontinence rates. The quality of studies in the literature, however, is very poor, with the majority of studies being non-randomized retrospective case studies with potentially high bias. Additional high-quality research, particularly prospective studies and randomized controlled trials, are needed to strengthen the evidence base.
Current urology. 2019 Nov 13 [Epub]
Alexander Light, Tanya Gupta, Maria Dadabhoy, Allen Daniel, Madura Nandakumar, Abigail Burrows, Sandeep Karthikeyan
GKT School of Medical Education, King's College London, Guy's Campus, London, UK.