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A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Adjuncts to Minimally Invasive Treatment of Urethral Stricture in Men

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher HardingORCiD


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© 2021 European Association of Urology. Context: Urethral stricture disease (USD) is initially managed with minimally invasive techniques such as urethrotomy and urethral dilatation. Minimally invasive techniques are associated with a high recurrence rate, especially in recurrent USD. Adjunctive measures, such as local drug injection, have been used in an attempt to reduce recurrence rates. Objective: To systematically review evidence for the efficacy and safety of adjuncts used alongside minimally invasive treatment of USD. Evidence acquisition: A systematic review of the literature published between 1990 and 2020 was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA checklist. Evidence synthesis: A total of 26 studies were included in the systematic review, from which 13 different adjuncts were identified, including intralesional injection (triamcinolone, n = 135; prednisolone, n = 58; mitomycin C, n = 142; steroid-mitomycin C-hyaluronidase, n = 103, triamcinolone-mitomycin C-N-acetyl cysteine, n = 50; platelet-rich plasma, n = 44), intraluminal instillation (mitomycin C, n = 20; hyaluronic acid and carboxymethylcellulose, n = 70; captopril, n = 37; 192-iridium brachytherapy, n = 10), application via a lubricated catheter (triamcinolone, n = 124), application via a coated balloon (paclitaxel, n = 106), and enteral application (tamoxifen, n = 30; deflazacort, n = 36). Overall, 13 randomised controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. Use of any adjunct was associated with a lower rate of USD recurrence (odds ratio [OR] 0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27–0.50; p < 0.001) compared to no adjunct use. Of all the adjuncts, mitomycin C was associated with the lowest rate of USD recurrence (intralesional injection: OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.11–0.48; p < 0.001; intraluminal injection: OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.61; p = 0.01). Urinary tract infection (2.9–14%), bleeding (8.8%), and extravasation (5.8%) were associated with steroid injection; pruritis of the urethra (61%) occurred after instillation of captopril; mild gynaecomastia (6.7%) and gastrointestinal side effects (6.7%) were associated with oral tamoxifen. Conclusions: Adjuncts to minimally invasive treatment of USD appear to lower the recurrence rate and are associated with a low adjunct-specific complication rate. However, the studies included were at high risk of bias. Mitomycin C is the adjunct supported by the highest level of evidence. Patient summary: We reviewed studies on additional therapies (called adjuncts) to minimally invasive treatments for narrowing of the urethra in men. Adjuncts such as mitomycin C injection result in a lower recurrence rate compared to no adjunct use. The use of adjuncts appeared to be safe and complications are uncommon; however, the studies were small and of low quality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pang KH, Chapple CR, Chatters R, Downey AP, Harding CK, Hind D, Watkin N, Osman NI

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Urology

Year: 2021

Volume: 80

Issue: 4

Pages: 467-479

Print publication date: 01/10/2021

Online publication date: 16/07/2021

Acceptance date: 28/06/2021

ISSN (print): 0302-2838

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7560

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2021.06.022