The practice of urethral dilation for voiding dysfunction among fellows of the section on urology of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Adam R. Metwalli*, Earl Y. Cheng, Bradley P. Kropp, John C. Pope IV

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Review of the literature reveals little scientific evidence to prove or disprove the efficacy of urethral dilation for children with dysfunctional voiding and recurrent urinary tract infections. We ascertain the current practice of urethral dilation among pediatric urologists. Materials and Methods: An anonymous questionnaire regarding the practice of urethral dilation was mailed to all fellows in the Section on Urology of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The questionnaire contained 14 questions and included biographical information. Results: The questionnaire response rate was 64%. When asked how one would treat a typical female child with classic voiding dysfunction, 87% responded with timed voiding and relaxation techniques with or without anticholinergics. Only 2.5% would proceed directly to cytoscopy and urethral dilation. For patients who did not respond to initial treatment, 67% would proceed with either urodynamics or biofeedback and only 10% would then perform urethral dilation. Of responders 61% do not practice urethral dilation under any circumstance, 36% will use it when all other means of therapy have failed, while only 2% use urethral dilation regularly and 2% find it helpful and will occasionally use it. Among physicians who perform urethral dilation 63% believed that less than half of the patients experienced long-term improvement. Overall, there was no consensus as to mechanism of action of urethral dilation. Conclusions: Urethral dilation is rarely used as primary treatment for pediatric voiding dysfunction, is usually reserved until all other treatments have failed and appears to have long-term efficacy in less than 50% of patients. To define better the need for this treatment modality and its efficacy, a randomized prospective trial is mandatory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1764-1767
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 II
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Dilatation
  • Pediatrics, data collection
  • Urethra
  • Urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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