BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220068
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Acute urinary retention and constipation precipitated by herpes zoster infection

  1. Kilian Walsh
  1. Department of Urology, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Mr Eoin MacCraith, eoinmaccraith{at}
  • Accepted 1 May 2017
  • Published 12 May 2017


A 76-year-old man presented to the emergency department complaining of acute urinary retention (AUR) and severe constipation. His recent medical history included 4 days of treatment in the community for gluteal herpes zoster with famciclovir. A transurethral catheter was passed and the patient completed a full course of famciclovir with resolution of constipation. The patient’s catheter was successfully removed 3 weeks after his presentation. We report on the clinical presentation and management of an unusual case of AUR and constipation caused by a zoster viral infection of the S2–S4 dermatome.


  • Contributors EMC collected the data and drafted the report. NFD edited the report. KW carried out supervision.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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