Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons                           
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 126--127

Posterior urethral valves and Cowper's syringocele: A rare association causing voiding dysfunction

KV Satish Kumar, Abraham Mammen, Aneez A Ratani, Karthikeya K Varma 
 Department of Neonatal and Pediatric Surgery, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS), Calicut, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
K V Satish Kumar
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Mini Bypass Road, Govindapuram (PO), Calicut - 673 016, Kerala


Urethral syringoceles are cystic dilatations of paired bulbourethral glands of Cowper. They can cause voiding dysfunction in male children and usually occur in isolation. We report a rare association of CowperęSQĽs syringocele with posterior urethral valves in a 4-year-old child, which was successfully managed endoscopically.

How to cite this article:
Satish Kumar K V, Mammen A, Ratani AA, Varma KK. Posterior urethral valves and Cowper's syringocele: A rare association causing voiding dysfunction.J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2012;17:126-127

How to cite this URL:
Satish Kumar K V, Mammen A, Ratani AA, Varma KK. Posterior urethral valves and Cowper's syringocele: A rare association causing voiding dysfunction. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Jun 6 ];17:126-127
Available from:

Full Text


Posterior urethral Valves (PUV) are the most common cause of bladder outlet obstruction in a male child. The other rarer causes are anterior urethral valves/diverticula, urethral duplications, Cowpers' syringocele etc. It is rare to have double obstruction in both anterior as well as posterior urethra and we describe a case of syringocele in association with posterior urethral valves as a cause of double obstruction.

 Case Report

A 4-year-old boy presented with right-sided inguinal hernia and voiding dysfunction. He had straining, frequency, and prolonged micturition for the past 1 year. Apparently the child had a weak urinary stream since birth, which was ignored as being normal. The child never had a urinary infection. On investigations his urine examination, renal functions, and renal tract ultrasound (US) were normal. A micturating cystourethrogram (MCU) showed dilated posterior urethra suspicious of posterior urethral valves and a definite filling defect in the proximal end of anterior urethra [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

At cystoscopy, the bladder was minimally trabeculated with prominent bladder neck and type 1 posterior urethral valves. There was also an elongated translucent cystic swelling in the posterior wall of proximal portion of bulbar urethra [Figure 2], which corresponded to the filling defect seen on MCU. A diagnosis of posterior urethral valves with Cowper's syringocele was made.{Figure 2}

The valves were fulgurated at 5 and 7 O' clock positions and the syringocele was deroofed with a bugbee, which decompressed the syringocele. The hernia was also repaired at the same time. Postoperatively, the child was on an indwelling Foley's catheter, which was removed after 3 days. The child at discharge was passing urine with good stream but still had increased frequency of micturition, which resolved after a few weeks of treatment with oral oxybutynin.

A repeat cystoscopy, done after 6 weeks, showed no evidence of syringocele and there were no residual valves. The MCU showed no filling defect seen previously and the posterior urethral dilatation had resolved. The child is on regular followup, symptomfree, and the recent US was normal.


Syringoceles are cystic dilatations of Cowper's gland duct within the bulbous urethra. [1] Maizel's et al. classified them into 4 types: simple syringocele, perforate syringocele, imperforate syringocele (the type which was seen in our case), and ruptured syringocele. These are rare lesions seen in boys with a reported incidence of 1.5% on cystograms. [2] Most are asymptomatic but occasionally they may cause urinary infection, hematuria, dysuria, and obstructive voiding symptoms. Only a quarter of children with syringocele need surgical intervention. [3] The diagnosis is confirmed on MCU and cystourethroscopy. Imaging with US or rarely computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging may aid in diagnosis. [4]

Although syringoceles occur as isolated entities, they may be associated with a variety of other urethral anomalies, such as urethral diverticulum, anterior urethral valves, posterior urethral valves, ureterocoele, acontractile bladder, and Cobb's collar. [5] Symptomatic syringoceles in children are successfully managed by transurethral endoscopic deroofing. Large syringoceles may occasionally need an open operation through perineal approach. [4] This case is reported here due its rarity and its association with posterior urethral valves.


1Maizels M, Stephens FD, King LR, Firlit CF. Cowper's syringocele: A classification of dilatations of Cowper's gland duct based upon clinical characteristics of 8 boys. J Urol 1983;129:111-4.
2Brock WA, Kaplan GW. Lesions of Cowper's glands in children. J Urol 1979;122:121-3.
3Bevers RF, Abbekerk EM, Boon TM. Cowper's syringocele: Symptoms, classification and treatment of an unappreciated problem. J Urol 2000;163:782-4.
4Melquist J, Sharma V, Sciullo D, McCaffrey H, Khan SA. Current diagnosis and management of syringocele: A Review. Int Braz J Urol 2010;36:3-9.
5Lo A, Upadhyay V, Teele R. Syringocoele of the bulbourethral duct with additional lower genitor-urinary anomalies. Pediatr Radiol 2011;41:1201-4.