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Front. Pediatr. | doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00005

Anterior Urethral Strictures in Children: Disease Etiology and Comparative Effectiveness of Endoscopic Treatment Versus Open Surgical Reconstruction

 Malte W. Vetterlein1*, Lars Weisbach1, Silke Riechardt1* and Margit Fisch1
  • 1Department of Urology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Pediatric anterior urethral strictures are rare and recommendations regarding treatment strategies derive from small monocentric case series. In 2014, a collaborative effort of the Société Internationale d’Urologie and the International Consultation on Urological Diseases drafted the first systematic and evidence-based guideline for diagnosis and treatment of urethral strictures in children. Against this backdrop, we performed an updated literature review to provide a comprehensive summary of the available evidence and contemporary outcomes with a focus on comparative effectiveness of endoscopic treatment (dilation or urethrotomy) versus open surgical reconstruction. Overall, 22 articles reporting on children with anterior urethral strictures were included into the review. Most strictures were iatrogenic (48%) and traumatic (34%), whereas congenital (13%), inflammatory (4%) or postinfectious strictures (1%) were rather rare. The cumulative success rate of endoscopic treatment and urethroplasty was 46% (range: 21-75; N=334) and 84% (range: 25-100; N=347), respectively. After stratifying patients according to urethroplasty technique, success rates were 82% (range: 25-100; N=206) for excision and primary anastomosis, 94% (range: 75-100; N=40) for graft augmentation, 97% (range: 87-100; N=30) for flap urethroplasty, and 70% (one study; N=20) for pull-through urethroplasty.
In conclusion, endoscopic approaches are rather ineffective in the long-term and open surgical reconstruction via urethroplasty should be preferred to avoid multiple, repetitive interventions. Future research may involve multi-institutional, collaborative, and prospective studies, incorporating well-defined outcome criteria and assessing objective surgical endpoints as well as patient-reported functional outcomes.

Keywords: Endoscopy, Iatrogenic Disease, Mouth Mucosa, Pediatrics, Urethral Stricture

Received: 12 Dec 2018; Accepted: 09 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Ricardo González, Kinder- und Jugendkrankenhaus AUF DER BULT, Germany

Reviewed by:

Andres Gomez Fraile, Hospital Universitario 12 De Octubre, Spain
Onur Telli, Dr Lütfi Kırdar Kartal Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Turkey  

Copyright: © 2019 Vetterlein, Weisbach, Riechardt and Fisch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Malte W. Vetterlein, Department of Urology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany,
Dr. Silke Riechardt, Department of Urology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany,