Lichen sclerosus and isolated bulbar urethral stricture disease

Joceline S. Liu*, Kelly Walker, Daniel Stein, Sanjiv Prabhu, Matthias D. Hofer, Justin Han, Ximing J. Yang, Chris M. Gonzalez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory genital skin condition that can cause destructive urethral scarring. To our knowledge no prior study has described lichen sclerosus in isolated bulbar urethral stricture segments without progressive disease originating from the penile urethra. We report the incidence of lichen sclerosus in isolated bulbar urethral stricture segments. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the records of 70 patients after urethroplasty for isolated bulbar stricture disease was performed from 2007 to 2013. Stricture specimens were re-reviewed by a single uropathologist. Cases were evaluated using common histological features of lichen sclerosus, including hyperkeratosis or epithelial atrophy, basal cell vacuolar degeneration, lichenoid lymphocytic infiltrate and superepithelial sclerosis. Results Average patient age was 46.5 years (range 19 to 77) and average stricture length was 3.5 cm (range 1 to 7). Of the patients 51 (73.0%) underwent excision and primary anastomosis, and 19 (27.1%) underwent buccal mucosal onlay. In 6 patients (8.6%) stricture recurred during a median followup of 22 months (IQR 14, 44). Three of those patients had lichen sclerosus. Initial pathology assessment revealed lichen sclerosus in 5 patients (7.1%, 95% CI 1.0-13.3). On re-review of specimens using pathology criteria specific to lichen sclerosus 31 patients (44.3%, 95% CI 32.4-56.2) showed pathology findings highly suggestive of (13) or diagnostic for (18) lichen sclerosus (p = 0.0001). On pathological re-review lichen sclerosus was associated with recurrent stricture. Conclusions On re-review of surgical specimens we noted a significant incidence of lichen sclerosus in isolated bulbar strictures in men undergoing urethroplasty. The incidence of lichen sclerosus may be higher than reported in isolated bulbar urethral segments without evidence of distal to proximal progressive urethral disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-779
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • anatomy
  • constriction
  • incidental findings
  • lichen sclerosus et atrophicus
  • pathologic
  • urethra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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