It is conceivable that the apex/bulbomembranous urethra is getting a higher dose owing to the needle or catheter shift. However, since September 2005, and the entire time of delivering 19 Gy/2, we have initiated prefraction CT imaging to assess caudal movement Cobimetinib mw and replanning if caudal movement was greater than 1 cm. In fact, since August 2008, replanning the second
fraction with CT imaging became standard. It seems unlikely that caudal needle movement has any causal relationship with strictures, given the strictures occurred when caudal movement was less likely. However, we did not analyze the site of the urethral hot spot. Conceivably, an apical “hot” region, associated with caudal movement, is a plausible explanation for stricture formation at or below the apex. Many other factors have been implicated in increasing the risk for
urethral stricture click here following HDRB, yet few are consistent. A TURP before brachytherapy has been commonly associated with stricture formation in many series , ,  and . In this current series, there was no correlation between a stricture and previous TURP. Other clinical factors such as age, hypertension, and baseline IPSS score have been, less consistently, implicated as predictors of stricture formation ,  and . One of the difficulties in reporting stricture rate is its very definition as a late toxicity. Using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Atazanavir Events version 3, the
definition of a stricture as an adverse event is dependent on a urological intervention, such as dilatation or urethrotomy. Different urologists may have a lower threshold to investigate and intervene in patients presenting with urological obstructive symptoms. The referral pathways and urologist involvement in followup would also influence the diagnosis of stricture. We think it is possible that the true stricture rate is underestimated owing to this definition and the practicalities of capturing these incidents. In addition, this definition does not provide any useful grading for the severity of a stricture adverse event. A surrogate for severity may be to look at the type of procedure or the number of repeat procedures. The type of procedure used is subjective and depends on the urologist’s preference and skills, rather than a true indicator of severity. Although repeat procedures are also subject to the urologist’s intervention threshold, it is a reasonable marker of stricture severity. In our study, 10 (22%) patients needed a repeat procedure and of these only 3 (6.7%) needed more than two procedures. Our rate of repeat procedures is similar to other LDR and HDR series  and . Many patients, who develop urethral strictures, learn self-catheterization. This procedure may impact on quality of life, more so than a one-off urethrotomy. However, we did not capture the self-catheterization rate as reliably as urethrotomy/dilatation.