Urinary retention associated with herpes zoster infection

Int J Dermatol. 1993 Jan;32(1):24-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1993.tb00955.x.


Background: Herpes zoster infection particularly involving the sacral dermatomes has been associated with bladder and bowel dysfunction, most commonly urinary retention.

Case reports: We report two patients who developed acute urinary retention, one of whom also had constipation, within days of herpes zoster skin lesions of the S2-S4 dermatomes.

Conclusions: Herpes zoster is a reversible cause of neurogenic bladder and bowel dysfunction and should be considered in a patient that presents with acute urinary retention and/or constipation. Sensory abnormalities and flaccid detrusor paralysis are most likely involved in the pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Herpes Zoster / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sacrococcygeal Region
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / complications*
  • Urinary Retention / etiology*