RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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A prospective, randomized protocol to examine the efficacy of postinternal urethrotomy dilations for recurrent bulbomembranous urethral strictures.

Urology 2002 August
OBJECTIVES: The high recurrence rate is still the major complication of endoscopic treatment of urethral stricture disease. To compare the outcome of patients who underwent direct vision internal urethrotomy (DVIU) and then followed a protocol that randomized them to either our urethral dilation protocol or consecutive DVIUs for the treatment of their urethral stricture.

METHODS: A total of 37 patients, who had undergone at least two DVIUs to treat their recurrent urethral strictures, were enrolled in this study. They were randomized into two groups. The etiology and location of the strictures were similar, and their length ranged from 0.5 to 2 cm in each group. In group 1 (n = 18), the patients were observed by regular visits and uroflowmetry profiles after the initial DVIU and consecutive DVIUs were considered when the stricture recurred. In group 2 (n = 19), patients received urethral dilations with Benique dilatators (maximal 21F) under intraurethral anesthesia, beginning 10 days after the initial internal urethrotomy, according to the following protocol: weekly for the first month, once after 3 and after 6 months, and then once each year.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 30 months, the urethral stricture recurred within 12 months in 55.6% (n = 10) of group 1, and consecutive DVIUs were indicated. During the same follow-up period, recurrence was observed in 2 patients (10.5%), 9 months and 2 years after randomization, in group 2 (P <0.05). The mean maximal urinary flow rate in groups 1 and 2 at last follow-up was 7.8 +/- 3.7 and 21.0 +/- 8.7 mL/s, respectively (P <0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: We suggest a regular, simple urethral dilation protocol for patients with recurrent bulbomembranous urethral stricture shorter than 2 cm, because this significantly allays the stricture recurrence rate, possibly eliminates the need for consecutive DVIU, and reduces morbidity.

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