Incidence of urethrocutaneous fistula following distal hypospadias repair with and without caudal epidural block: A randomized pilot study

Published:November 14, 2021DOI:



      Recent investigations have raised a doubt regarding the safety of Caudal epidural block (CEB) administered to children with distal hypospadias undergoing tubularised incised plate (TIP) urethroplasty. The primary objective of the study was to investigate whether there is any association between CEB and the occurrence of urethrocutaneous fistula (UCF) in the postoperative period.


      Fifty ASA 1 and 2 children with distal hypospadias aged 0–8 years were randomly allocated to CEB group (GA with CEB, 0.2% ropivacaine 1 ml/kg; n = 25) and Non-CEB group (GA without CEB; n = 25). Penile measurements were taken before and 20 min after administration of CEB to assess penile engorgement. Intraoperative hemodynamics were recorded at 10 min intervals after induction of anaesthesia. Consumption of IV fentanyl intraoperatively and postoperatively in first 24 h was recorded in both the groups. Rescue analgesia was administered for a score >4 on FLACC scale. After surgery children were followed up monthly for first three months and then at 6-months and yearly in paediatric surgery OPD to assess for development of UCF.


      UCF was found to occur in only two children, one from each group on follow up, with an overall incidence of 4%. There was no difference in the incidence of UCF in the patients with and without CEB. A 26.8% increase in penile volume from baseline was recorded in CEB group (P = 0.000). The intraoperative heart rate and mean arterial pressure was significantly lower in the CEB group as compared to non CEB group at various time intervals. No additional intraoperative IV fentanyl supplementation was required in CEB group. Fentanyl consumption was significantly less in CEB group postoperatively in first 24 h (P = 0.000).


      Administration of CEB was not found to have any impact on UCF formation. No relationship between the increase in penile volume after CEB block and occurrence of UCF was noticed.


      Despite increase in penile volume after CEB, there was no difference between the two groups as regards to the occurrence of post operative UCF. CEB is an effective analgesic modality and can be continued to be used till the results of well powered prospective randomised trials with long follow up are reported.


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