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J Urol. 2017 Feb;197(2):414-419. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 6.

Epidemiology of Genitourinary Injuries among Male U.S. Service Members Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan: Early Findings from the Trauma Outcomes and Urogenital Health (TOUGH) Project.

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United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
San Antonio Military Medical Center, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
San Antonio Military Medical Center, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Electronic address:



In this study we report the number, nature and severity of genitourinary injuries among male U.S. service members deployed to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


This retrospective cross-sectional study of the Department of Defense Trauma Registry used ICD-9-CM codes to identify service members with genitourinary injuries, and used Abbreviated Injury Scale codes to determine injury severity, genitourinary organs injured and comorbid injuries.


From October 2001 to August 2013, 1,367 male U.S. service members sustained 1 or more genitourinary injuries. The majority of injuries involved the external genitalia (1,000, 73.2%), including the scrotum (760, 55.6%), testes (451, 33.0%), penis (423, 31%) and/or urethra (125, 9.1%). Overall more than a third of service members with genitourinary injury sustained at least 1 severe genitourinary injury (502, 36.7%). Loss of 1 or both testes was documented in 146 men, including 129 (9.4%) unilateral orchiectomies and 17 (1.2%) bilateral orchiectomies. Common comorbid injuries included traumatic brain injury (549, 40.2%), pelvic fracture (341, 25.0%), colorectal injury (297, 21.7%) and lower extremity amputations (387, 28.7%).


An unprecedented number of U.S. service members sustained genitourinary injury while deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Further study is needed to describe the long-term impact of genitourinary injury and determine the potential need for novel treatments to improve sexual, urinary and/or reproductive function among service members with severe genital injury.


blast injuries; organ transplantation; penis; urogenital system; wounds and injuries

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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