European Association of Urology Guidelines on Urethral Stricture Disease (Part 1): Management of Male Urethral Stricture Disease

Nicolaas Lumen, Felix Campos-Juanatey, Tamsin Greenwell, Francisco E Martins, Nadir I Osman, Silke Riechardt, Marjan Waterloos, Rachel Barratt, Garson Chan, Francesco Esperto, Achilles Ploumidis, Wesley Verla, Konstantinos Dimitropoulos
European Urology 2021, 80 (2): 190-200

OBJECTIVE: To present a summary of the 2021 version of the European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines on management of male urethral stricture disease.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The panel performed a literature review on these topics covering a time frame between 2008 and 2018, and used predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria for the literature to be selected. Key papers beyond this time period could be included as per panel consensus. A strength rating for each recommendation was added based on a review of the available literature and after panel discussion.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Management of male urethral strictures has extensively been described in literature. Nevertheless, few well-designed studies providing high level of evidence are available. In well-resourced countries, iatrogenic injury to the urethra is one of the most common causes of strictures. Asymptomatic strictures do not always need active treatment. Endoluminal treatments can be used for short, nonobliterative strictures at the bulbar and posterior urethra as first-line treatment. Repetitive endoluminal treatments are not curative. Urethroplasty encompasses a multitude of techniques, and adaptation of the technique to the local conditions of the stricture is crucial to obtain durable patency rates.

CONCLUSIONS: Management of male urethral strictures is complex, and a multitude of techniques are available. Selection of the appropriate technique is crucial, and these guidelines provide relevant recommendations.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Injury to the urethra by medical interventions is one of the most common reasons of male urethral stricture disease in well-resourced countries. Although different techniques are available to manage urethral strictures, not every technique is appropriate for every type of stricture. These guidelines, developed based on an extensive literature review, aim to guide physicians in the selection of the appropriate technique(s) to treat a specific type of urethral stricture.

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