Urethral stricture following high dose rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To evaluate the incidence, timing, nature and outcome of urethral strictures following high dose rate brachytherapy (HDRB) for prostate carcinoma. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Data from 474 patients with clinically localised prostate cancer treated with HDRB were analysed. Ninety percent received HDRB as a boost to external beam radiotherapy (HDRBB) and the remainder as monotherapy (HDRBM). Urethral strictures were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 41 months, 38 patients (8%) were diagnosed with a urethral stricture (6-year actuarial risk 12%). Stricture location was bulbo-membranous (BM) urethra in 92.1%. The overall actuarial rate of grade 2 or more BM urethral stricture was estimated at 10.8% (95% CI 7.0-14.9%), with a median time to diagnosis of 22 months (range 10-68 months). All strictures were initially managed with either dilatation (n=15) or optical urethrotomy (n=20). Second line therapy was required in 17 cases (49%), third line in three cases (9%) and 1 patient open urethroplasty (grade 3 toxicity). Predictive factors on multivariate analysis were prior trans-urethral resection of prostate (hazard ratio (HR) 2.81, 95% CI 1.15-6.85, p=0.023); hypertension (HR 2.83, 95% CI 1.37-5.85, p=0.005); and dose per fraction used in HDR (HR for 1 Gy increase per fraction 1.33, 95% CI 1.08-1.64, p=0.008). CONCLUSIONS: BM urethral strictures are the most common late grade 2 or more urinary toxicity following HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Most are manageable with minimally invasive procedures. Both clinical and dosimetric factors appear to influence the risk of stricture formation.


  • Sullivan, Lisa
  • Williams, Scott G
  • Tai, Keen Hun
  • Foroudi, Farshad
  • Cleeve, L
  • Duchesne, Gillian M

publication date

  • May 2009