Preoperative hormone therapy in single-stage repair of hypospadias: A comprehensive systematic review

Published:January 19, 2023DOI:



      Preoperative hormone therapy (PHT) holds promise for obtaining better surgical conditions for patients undergoing hypospadias correction and increasing the success rate. However, the application and effects of PHT remain uncertain owing to a lack of comprehensive evaluation, thus limiting treatment strategies and development of standardized guidelines. This study aimed to review the following: (ⅰ) the criteria and regimens of PHT; (ⅱ) its impact on penile growth, postoperative complications, and side effects; (ⅲ) and sources of inconsistent clinical outcomes.


      This systematic review was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42022346924) and conducted and reported following international recommendations, including the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement. We searched the databases over the last two decades to identify eligible studies. This systematic review included literature regarding the use of PHT in the treatment of children with single stage hypospadias repair. Risk of Bias (RoB) was measured using two different tools: randomized controlled trials using a modified version of the RoB Assessment Tool and non-randomized studies of interventions using the Risk of Bias in Non-randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I). The R-3.6.3 software was used for the analysis.


      In total, 25 studies involving 4094 patients were included in the systematic review. The surgeons’ criteria for using PHT varied, with short penile length being the most important. The most frequently reported regimens for intramuscular (IM) testosterone were either 2 mg/kg or empiric 25 mg monthly, and the duration was 2–3 months preoperatively. Androgens were significantly effective in improving penile development, and the changes commonly peaked at 2–3 months. The effects of PHT on complications and side effects are controversial, and the potential causes include hormone sensitivity, degree of hypospadias, surgical techniques, and dosing regimens.


      This systematic review evaluated PHT in children with hypospadias. Building on previous studies, this review provides a more specific attitude and possible aspects for resolving the controversies. Future studies should identify the applicable subgroups of patients and standardize the dose and mode of delivery for the best clinical results.


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