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Article of the week: Effectiveness of a longer urethral stump to prevent urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy

Every Week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

Finally, the third post under the Article of the Week heading on the homepage will consist of additional material or media. This week we feature both a video and a podcast discussing the paper.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Investigating the mechanism underlying urinary continence recovery after radical prostatectomy: effectiveness of a longer urethral stump to prevent urinary incontinence

Yoshifumi Kadono*, Takahiro Nohara*, Shohei Kawaguchi*, Renato Naito*, Satoko Urata*, Kazufumi Nakashima*, Masashi Iijima*, Kazuyoshi Shigehara*, Kouji Izumi*, Toshifumi Gabata† and Atsushi Mizokami*

*Department of Integrative Cancer Therapy and Urology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, Japan; †Department of Radiology, Kanazawa University School of Medicine, 13‐1 Takara‐machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920‐8640, Japan



To assess the chronological changes in urinary incontinence and urethral function before and after radical prostatectomy (RP), and to compare the findings of pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after RP to evaluate the anatomical changes.

Patients and Methods

In total, 185 patients were evaluated with regard to the position of the distal end of the membranous urethra (DMU) on a mid‐sagittal MRI slice and urethral sphincter function using the urethral pressure profilometry. The patients also underwent an abdominal leak point pressure test before RP and at 10 days and 12 months after RP. The results were then compared with the chronological changes in urinary incontinence.

Fig. 1 Intraoperative view of the apex of the prostate transection line between the urethra and prostate at (A) the normal and (B) long urethral stump positions.


The MRI results showed that the DMU shifted proximally to an average distance of 4 mm at 10 days after RP and returned to the preoperative position at 12 months after RP. Urethral sphincter function also worsened 10 days after RP, with recovery after 12 months. The residual length of the urethral stump and urinary incontinence were significantly associated with the migration length of the DMU at 10 days after RP. The residual length of the urethral stump was a significant predictor of urinary incontinence after RP.


This is the first study to elucidate that the slight vertical repositioning of the membranous urethra after RP causes chronological changes in urinary incontinence. A long urethral residual stump reduces urinary incontinence after RP.


1 reply
  1. C. Tillier
    C. Tillier says:

    This is not the first study who shows the predictive value of the length of urethra. See results of Cpred study. N. Grivas et al.

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