In men undergoing urethroplasty we used the American Urological Association (AUA) symptom index to assess the magnitude of symptoms and determine the validity of this index as an outcome assessment tool.Materials and Methods
The AUA symptom index was completed by individual interview of 50 men a mean of 41 years old who underwent urethral reconstruction. Symptom scores were then correlated with radiographic retrograde urethrograms and urinary flow rates to determine whether changes in the score were consistent with these other clinical indicators of success or failure.Results
Mean preoperative AUA symptom index score in all evaluable patients was 26.9 (maximum 35), indicating severely bothersome voiding symptoms. In patients with radiographic evidence of successful urethral reconstruction the average postoperative score was 5.1 (p <0.0001). In those with recurrent stricture after urethroplasty scores were essentially unchanged but after successful repeat urethroplasty the mean symptom index score decreased to 3.4 (p <0.0001). A statistically significant inverse correlation (r = -0.712, p <0.0001) was found between AUA symptom index scores and maximum urinary flow rates.Conclusions
Patients with urethral strictures who are selected for formal urethroplasty have severe obstructive and irritative voiding symptoms. Results of the AUA symptom index correlate closely with conventional measures of urethroplasty outcome, such as radiographic retrograde urethrography and urinary flow studies. The AUA symptom index appears to have clinical validity as an adjunctive outcome assessment tool after urethroplasty.