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Development and Validation of A Male Anterior Urethral Stricture Classification System

      OBJECTIVE

      To develop and validate a clinical classification system for urethral stricture disease (USD) based on the retrograde urethrogram (RUG), physical exam, and stricture-specific patient history.

      MATERIALS AND METHODS

      Three elements were chosen to be included in the classification system: 1) Length of urethral stricture (L); 2) Stricture segment/location (S); 3) Stricture Etiology (E) (LSE classification system). Each element was divided into clinically relevant sub-categories. A three-step development and validation process then ensued, culminating in an in-person Trauma and Urologic Reconstruction Network of Surgeons (TURNS) meeting, at which the final classification system was unanimously agreed upon by attendees based on interrater reliability data obtained from the classifying of 22 clinical vignettes. A final validation step involved retrospectively classifying cases in the TURNS database to determine if classification influenced surgical technique and was associated with presumed stricture etiology.

      RESULTS

      The final LSE classification system was found to have an interrater reliability of 0.79 (individual components 0.76, 0.70 and 0.93 respectfully). Retrospective classification of the 2162 TURNS strictures revealed the segment (S) to be strongly associated with urethroplasty type (p = 0.0005) and stricture etiology (E) (p = 0.0005).

      CONCLUSION

      We developed and validated a novel, easy to use, urethral stricture classification system. The system's ability to aid in directing treatments, predict treatment outcomes, and facilitate collaborative research efforts will require further study.
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