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Prevalence and causes of meatal stenosis in circumcised boys.

INTRODUCTION: The prevalence of meatal stenosis after circumcision remains unclear, and its causes are unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To know the prevalence and the causes of meatal stenosis after circumcision in boys.

STUDY DESIGN: Between October 2018 and April 2019, we carried out a prospective cross-sectional study on 1031 circumcised boys, aged 5-8 years (mean age 6.1 years ± 0.3 years), enrolled in the first level of primary school. All enrolled children underwent genitourinary examination. Moreover, an anonymous questionnaire was filled-in by one of the parents.

RESULTS: The screening revealed the presence of meatal stenosis in 185 children, representing a prevalence of 17.9% of cases (95% CI = 15.6-20.3). Analysis of the results using both the univariate and multivariate mode brought out some common risk factors such as a foreskin that completely adheres to the glans with forceful retraction of the prepuce and the use of a healing product: Beta-sitosterol and Hydrocotyl (Centella Asiatica), rarely Trolamine. In addition, this study showed that boys circumcised during their first week of life are twice as likely to develop meatal stenosis than those circumcised between 7 and 12 months (OR = 2.08; 95% CI = 1.10-3.92, p = 0.021).

DISCUSSION: We believe that when the foreskin is fully attached to the glans, forced retraction of the prepuce most often causes a loss of the mucous membrane that covers the glans, making the glans less resistant to chemical attack, and therefore may play an important role in the development of meatal stenosis. However, This study is limited by the absence of a cohort of uncircumcised boys for comparison to see if the small diameter of the meatus is also present in this group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that stenosis of the urethral meatus is a frequent complication of circumcision. Circumcision in the first week of life, complete adhesion of the foreskin to the glans, and the use of a healing product were associated with the risk of stenosis development.

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