Urethral Stricture Disease Guideline Amendment (2023).

The symptoms of urethral stricture are non-specific and may overlap with other common conditions that can confound diagnosis. Urologists play a key role in the initial evaluation of urethral stricture, currently provide all accepted treatments, and must be familiar with the evaluation, diagnostic tests, and surgical treatments for urethral stricture.

A systematic review of the literature using the Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane databases (search dates January 1, 1990 to January 12, 2015) was conducted to identify peer-reviewed publications relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of urethral stricture in men. The review yielded an evidence base of 250 articles after application of inclusion/exclusion criteria. The search for the 2023 Amendment was modified to included females and males (search dates December 2015-October 2022 for males; January 1990-October 2022 for females) and a new Key Question on sexual dysfunction was added (search dates: January 1990-10/2022). After inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, 81 studies were added to the existing evidence base.

Once a urethral stricture is diagnosed, clinicians should determine the length and location of the stricture in order to inform treatment. After a period of urethral rest, patients with short (<2cm) bulbar urethral stricture may be treated endoscopically. Urethroplasty may be performed by an experienced surgeon in patients with first time or recurrent anterior and posterior urethral strictures. The best treatment option for urethral stricture in female patients is urethroplasty using oral mucosa grafts or vaginal flaps rather than endoscopic treatment.

This guideline provides evidence-based guidance to clinicians and patients regarding how to recognize symptoms and signs of a urethral stricture/stenosis, carry out appropriate testing to determine the location and severity of the stricture, and recommend the best options for treatment. The most effective approach for a particular patient is best determined by the individual clinician and patient in the context of that patient's history, values, and goals for treatment.

The Journal of urology. 2023 Apr 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Hunter Wessells, Allen Morey, Alex Vanni, Leila Rahimi, Lesley Souter

University of Washington, Professor and Nelson Chair in Urology, UW School of Medicine, President UW Physicians, Seattle, Washington., The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas., Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts., American Urological Association, Linthicum, Maryland., Nomadic E.B.M Methodology, Smithville, Ontario, Canada.