The diagnosis of balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) in children may be challenging, since clinical examination only could lead to an underestimation of its incidence. The aim of this retrospective and single-centre study is to assess the diagnostic performance of clinical examination, together with clinical history, in identifying BXO. Ninety-seven children underwent circumcision for phimosis from 2015 to 2019. Histology was routinely performed. Cohen’s kappa coefficient, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios and accuracy of macroscopic appearance of the foreskin, steroid administration and past medical history were estimated. Forty-eight patients (50%) were affected by BXO; 31 of them (69%) presented with suggestive clinical signs. A strictured or whitish urethral meatus was detected during surgery in nine cases (19%); this was associated to allergic or immune diseases (p = 0.046). Foreskin appearance alone mildly correlated with histology (k = 0.494; p < 0.001) and it showed a diagnostic accuracy of 75%. The specificity and positive predictive value of abnormal macroscopic findings at examination, together with a positive clinical history for other allergic or immune diseases, and/or for balanitis, were 100% and the positive likelihood ratio was greater than 10. Conversely, sensitivity decreased to 4.5% (95% CI 0–11%). Conclusion: Foreskin appearance together with clinical history could predict BXO with certainty. However, since the absence of a positive medical history could not exclude the diagnosis, foreskin histology is still highly recommended.

Could a careful clinical examination distinguish physiologic phimosis from balanitis xerotica obliterans in children?

Ghidini, Filippo;Virgone, Calogero;Pulvirenti, Rebecca;Trovalusci, Emanuele;Gamba, Piergiorgio
2020

Abstract

The diagnosis of balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) in children may be challenging, since clinical examination only could lead to an underestimation of its incidence. The aim of this retrospective and single-centre study is to assess the diagnostic performance of clinical examination, together with clinical history, in identifying BXO. Ninety-seven children underwent circumcision for phimosis from 2015 to 2019. Histology was routinely performed. Cohen’s kappa coefficient, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios and accuracy of macroscopic appearance of the foreskin, steroid administration and past medical history were estimated. Forty-eight patients (50%) were affected by BXO; 31 of them (69%) presented with suggestive clinical signs. A strictured or whitish urethral meatus was detected during surgery in nine cases (19%); this was associated to allergic or immune diseases (p = 0.046). Foreskin appearance alone mildly correlated with histology (k = 0.494; p < 0.001) and it showed a diagnostic accuracy of 75%. The specificity and positive predictive value of abnormal macroscopic findings at examination, together with a positive clinical history for other allergic or immune diseases, and/or for balanitis, were 100% and the positive likelihood ratio was greater than 10. Conversely, sensitivity decreased to 4.5% (95% CI 0–11%). Conclusion: Foreskin appearance together with clinical history could predict BXO with certainty. However, since the absence of a positive medical history could not exclude the diagnosis, foreskin histology is still highly recommended.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3358620
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