Background: Idiopathic bulbar urethritis (IBU) is characterized by hematuria ± dysuria without infection. Symptoms result from inflammation of the bulbar urethra, distal to external sphincter. IBU is difficult to manage and there is no recommended therapy.
Objective: To determine whether instillation of triamcinolone acetonide is a useful treatment of IBU and its associated complications.
Setting and participants: Data were prospectively collected, for 22 months, on 14 consecutive patients presenting with terminal hematuria or blood spotting ± dysuria to a pediatric urology unit. Median age was 12 years (range: 10-15). Mean symptom duration was 13 months (range: 8-24). Normal baseline laboratory blood tests, urine cultures, and ultrasound assessments were seen in all; therefore, none were excluded on the basis of a known pathology. Follow-up telephone interviews, to assess symptom persistence and side effects, were performed at 6 weeks postintervention. The mean follow-up period was 15 months (range: 4-20).
Intervention: Visual confirmation of IBU was obtained cystoscopically and 40 mg of triamcinolone was instilled to the inflamed area under direct vision using an open-ended ureteral catheter.
Outcome measurements: Symptoms resolution was the primary outcome. Repeat cystoscopic assessment ± triamcinolone instillation was recorded, as was the occurrence of complications.
Results and limitations: Seven patients (50%) required at least one further treatment. Overall complete or partial resolution was reported in 12/14 patients (85.7%). No side effects were reported.
Conclusions: This small prospective series demonstrates that intraurethral instillation of triamcinolone seems to be a promising treatment option to alleviate inflammatory symptoms in majority of cases of idiopathic urethritis. Patient Summary: Fourteen boys with inflammation of the urethra, with no identifiable cause, were treated by topically triamcinolone, directly to the inflamed area. We demonstrate an 85.7% complete/partial resolution of symptoms with no side effects seen.
Keywords: children; idiopathic urethritis; prospective; steroid instillation; treatment; triamcinolone.