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Can lichen sclerosus be diagnosed by preputial appearance or symptoms?

Authors Kato T, Mizuno K, Nishio H, Moritoki Y, Nakane A, Kurokawa S, Kamisawa H, Maruyama T, Yasui T, Hayashi Y

Received 5 May 2018

Accepted for publication 27 June 2018

Published 18 September 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 89—94


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli

Taiki Kato,1 Kentaro Mizuno,2 Hidenori Nishio,2 Yoshinobu Moritoki,1 Akihiro Nakane,1 Satoshi Kurokawa,1 Hideyuki Kamisawa,1 Tetsuji Maruyama,3 Takahiro Yasui,1 Yutaro Hayashi2

1Department of Nephro-urology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Japan; 2Department of Pediatric Urology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Japan; 3Department of Urology, Nagoya City East Medical Center, Wakamizu, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan

Introduction: Lichen sclerosus (LS), or balanitis xerotica obliterans, is a chronic, inflammatory disease accompanied by cicatrizing skin conditions resulting in pathologic phimosis. LS can be detected clinically by the whitish appearance of the glans or the foreskin, thickened, nonretractable foreskin, dysuria, and spraying. However, diagnosis is confirmed histopathologically.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether LS can be diagnosed on the basis of clinical manifestation and symptoms.
Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed, which included boys referred to our institutions for phimosis evaluation between May 2001 and December 2016. Pediatric urologists clinically diagnosed LS preoperatively. Boys with voiding problems, recurrent balanoposthitis, or who were unresponsive to topical steroid treatment underwent surgical treatment. Patients who underwent religious circumcisions were not included.
Results: Three-hundred twenty boys diagnosed with phimosis were identified, and 71 (22%) boys underwent surgery. Fifty-eight boys underwent complete or partial circumcision, and 13 boys underwent a dorsal slit or preputioplasty. Thirty foreskin samples were sent for histopathologic examination. Histopathologic evaluation showed evidence of LS in 13 of 30 (43%) circumcised boys, chronic inflammation in ten (33%), no abnormality in four (13%), dysplasia in two (7%), and acute inflammation in one (3%). In the 22 boys who were clinically diagnosed with LS, 13 patients had histopathologic evidence of LS (59%). Visually, eleven cases had whitish foreskins and 21 cases had thickened nonretractable foreskins, of which there were seven (64%) (P>0.05) and 12 (57%) (P<0.01) cases, respectively. These cases were histopathologically diagnosed with LS. Both whitish and thickened, nonretractable foreskin was observed in eight patients, of which seven (88%) (P<0.01) were also histologically diagnosed with LS. There was no correlation between histopathologic diagnosis and preoperative symptoms such as dysuria, ballooning, spraying, or penile pain (P>0.2).
Conclusion: It is difficult to reliably distinguish whether a patient has histopathological LS by clinical findings alone.

Keywords: balanitis xerotica obliterans, lichen sclerosus, circumcision, histology, child

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