Management of Catheter-Associated Urethral Strictures
Background: Urethral stricture is an abnormal narrowing or loss of distensibility of any segment of the urethra surrounded by corpus spongiosum. In the last two decades, there has been a change in the pattern of aetiology of urethral stricture in urban centres in Nigeria with a shift away from post-infective strictures to the emergence of traumatic and iatrogenic causes.
Objective: This study aims to present our observation of the occurrence of long-segment urethral strictures in patients after urethral catheter placement for various indications.
Methodology: This is a descriptive, cross sectional report of patients who presented to and were managed at the Urology Unit of a tertiary hospital in North-Western Nigeria. Relevant information were retrieved from patients’ case notes and the data was entered into a proforma and analysed using the SPSS 20 software.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 45.4 ± 19.4 years, with a range of 11-80 years. Indications for urethral catheterization were acute urine retention 11 (43.8%), intra-operative urine output monitoring 9 (28.1%), following road traffic accident 10(31.2%), unconsciousness secondary to meningitis 1 (3.1%) and after urologic surgery 1 (3.1%). Urethral catheterization was carried out in peripheral hospitals in 19 (56.3%) patients; and from the hospitals operating room in 10 (31.2%), accident and emergency room 2 (6.3%) and trauma centre 1 (3.1%). Strictures were panurethral in 22 (68.75%), in the bulbar urethra in 6 (18.75%) and in the penile urethra 4 (12.5%). The length of strictures ranged from 1 cm to 20 cm. Treatments offered included substitution urethroplasty using oral mucosa grafts (OMG) urethroplasty 30 (93.8%), fasciocutaneous penile flap 1 (3.1%) and direct visual internal urethrotomy (DVIU)1 (3.1%). Satisfactory voiding was recorded in 28 (87.5%), voiding was unsatisfactory in 2 (6.3%), while one patient had stricture recurrence and another one is awaiting second stage repair.
Conclusion: Urethral catheterization is an emerging cause of panurethral strictures in our practice and may occur even after relief of acute urine retention but more worrisome following short-term catheterization during surgery. There is need for evaluation of the quality of silicone-coated latex urethral catheters currently available.
Keywords: urethral catheter, catheterization, complications, Iatrogenic urethral strictures, Latex allergy