Purpose: We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of topical steroid application for balanitis xerotica obliterans in children and analyzed the association of any clinical response with histological findings. Materials and Methods: Our double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study included 40 boys in whom balanitis xerotica obliterans was diagnosed clinically by cicatricial phimosis. The severity of phimosis was graded into 4 groups. Patients were randomized to receive the topical application of 0.05% mometasone furoate or placebo. After 5 weeks phimosis severity was reevaluated and all patients underwent circumcision. Surgical specimens were histologically typed as an early, intermediate or late form of balanitis xerotica obliterans. Results: Seven patients were withdrawn from the study. In the steroid group 7 boys had clinical improvement and 10 had no change. Histological study showed an early, intermediate and late form of balanitis xerotica obliterans in 5, 5 and 7 cases, respectively. Of cases with clinical improvement 5 were the early and 2 the intermediate type. In the placebo group 5 cases worsened clinically and 11 did not change. Histological evaluation revealed an early, intermediate and late form of balanitis xerotica obliterans in 3, 7 and 6 boys, respectively. Of the 5 cases with histological worsening, disease was the early, intermediate and late type in 2, 2 and 1, respectively. Conclusions: Applying a potent topical steroid affects improvement in balanitis xerotica obliterans in the histologically early and intermediate stages of disease, and may inhibit further worsening in the late stage.
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