Purpose of review
The purpose of this review is to summarize the presentation, investigation and management of female urethral diverticulum, a condition often overlooked and frequently misdiagnosed. Hopefully, greater awareness will lead to more timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Recently there has been considerable emphasis on correctly identifying this condition. Newer imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging are now widely available and urethral diverticula that previously were unrecognized, such as noncommunicating diverticula, can now be more easily detected. The character of the diverticula can be accurately determined with appropriate imaging and this can lead to improved preoperative planning.
Traditional contrast studies are now being superseded by advanced cross-sectional imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging and even virtual computed tomography urethroscopy. These provide much greater tissue definition; however, very few studies directly compare the myriad of contrast-based, ultrasonographic and cross-sectional investigations that are available. Therefore, although the condition is eminently treatable, there remains little standardization in the investigation of this condition. The greatest single improvement, however, in management would come from more widespread clinical awareness of the condition and its presentation.