Introduction: Urethrorrhagia characterized by terminal hematuria and/or bloody spotting of the underwear between episodes of voiding is a common problem of childhood. We describe a series of boys with urethrorrhagia and associated clinical and endoscopic findings.
Methods and materials: The records of boys presenting between 1990 and 2005 with urethrorrhagia were retrospectively reviewed for age, symptoms, symptom duration, physical examination, radiographic evaluation, laboratory data and endoscopic findings.
Results: Of 66 boys, 50 presented with classic symptoms of terminal hematuria and/or blood spotting, and 16 with atypical symptoms who underwent cystoscopy with similar findings. Endoscopic evaluation was performed in 55 (82%) patients for prolonged symptomatology or recurrent symptoms and revealed four distinct patterns: Group 1, three (5%) patients with a normal appearing urethra; Group 2, 27 (49%) patients who were found to have inflammation or hyperemia of the bulbar urethra; Group 3, 17 (31%) cases in which there was a white membranous exudate or mucosal irregularity; and Group 4, eight (14%) patients who were found to have stricture disease on cystoscopy. Stricture developed after initial cystoscopy in six cases.
Conclusion: Consistent with previous studies, a subset of patients developed urethral stricture disease after presenting with urethrorrhagia. As eight patients had a urethral stricture on initial cystoscopy, and those with strictures are clinically indistinguishable symptomatically from those without, we feel that uroflow and selective cystoscopy are important tools for the work-up of severe and persistent cases of urethrorrhagia. Group 3 may represent a population at significant risk for the development of stricture disease warranting closer follow up and evaluation. The white membranous exudate found on cystoscopy may represent a pre-stricture lesion as evidenced by four cases that subsequently developed strictures.