Acute urinary retention and urinary incontinence

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2001 Aug;19(3):591-619. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8627(05)70205-4.


AUR is a commonly seen genitourinary emergency. It has many etiologies, including obstructive, neurogenic, pharmacologic, and extraurinary causes. Treatment is immediate bladder decompression by transurethral catheterization and treatment of the provoking etiology. Urinary incontinence is less commonly seen as a presenting complaint in the ED. For the emergency physician, the key lies in recognizing its underlying cause. Neurologic and pharmacologic causes need to be considered in all patients. Urinary incontinence that is not caused by a neurologic emergency can be referred for further outpatient evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Emergency Treatment / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Urinary Incontinence / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / therapy*
  • Urinary Retention / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Retention / epidemiology
  • Urinary Retention / therapy*