Objectives. To evaluate the etiology and characteristics of symptomatic anterior urethral strictures in a large series of men presenting for urologic treatment in an effort to determine the common themes that may influence possible prevention or treatment strategies. Many questions about the origin and features of contemporary anterior urethral stricture disease remain unanswered. Methods. The records of 175 men with symptomatic anterior urethral strictures were reviewed. Data were entered both prospectively by careful patient questioning and retrospectively from detailed chart review. The stricture length, location, and cause were recorded from urologic presentation, before definitive treatment. Posterior strictures from pelvic fracture urethral disruption defects were excluded from this review. Results. A total of 194 strictures were identified in 175 men. Most strictures were idiopathic (65 of 194, 34%) or iatrogenic (63 of 194, 32%); fewer were inflammatory (38 of 194, 20%) or traumatic (28 of 194, 14%). Most involved the bulbar urethra (n = 100, 52%). Pendulous strictures (mean 6.1 cm) were longer on average than those in the fossa navicularis (mean 2.6 cm) or bulb (mean 3.1 cm). Prolonged catheterization (n = 26) and transurethral surgery (n = 25) were common causes of iatrogenic strictures. Conclusions. Our results showed that idiopathic and iatrogenic strictures are surprisingly common. External trauma was a relatively uncommon cause of anterior urethral stricture disease overall. Unnecessary urethral catheterization and repeated urethral instrumentation should be avoided to prevent stricture formation or exacerbation. More study is necessary to determine the origin of anterior urethral stricture disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas