Acute urinary retention as an unusual manifestation of aseptic meningitis

Intern Med. 2002 May;41(5):392-4. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.41.392.


A formerly healthy 32-year-old woman was hospitalized for a closer examination of undiagnosed fever with mild headache. Despite lack of distinct findings on physical and laboratory examinations at admission, she suddenly developed anuresis due to acontractile neurogenic bladder. On the basis of her symptoms and the faint nuchal rigidity revealed later, as well as the results of cerebrospinal fluid analyses, a diagnosis of aseptic meningitis was eventually reached. While aseptic meningitis subsided within 3 weeks, about 10 weeks, including a 26-day period of anuria, was necessary for complete restoration of normal voiding function, necessitating intermittent self-catheterization. Acute urinary retention should be considered an uncommon but critical manifestation of aseptic meningitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Urological
  • Female
  • Headache / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Aseptic / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis, Aseptic / complications*
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / therapy
  • Urinary Catheterization
  • Urinary Retention / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Urinary Retention / etiology*
  • Urinary Retention / therapy