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Urinary retention with occult meningeal reaction: a ‘form fruste’ meningitis-retention syndrome
  1. Ryuji Sakakibara,
  2. Daiki Sakai,
  3. Fuyuki Tateno and
  4. Yosuke Aiba
  1. Neurology, Internal Medicine, Toho University, Sakura Medical Centre, Sakura, Chiba, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ryuji Sakakibara; sakakibara{at}


We report the case of a 70-year-old Japanese man who was referred from a local urologist because of acute urinary retention (detrusor underactivity revealed by a urodynamics examination). A neurogenic urinary retention workup failed to reveal the aetiology, but a spinal tap incidentally showed occult meningeal reaction with positive oligoclonal band. The patient had no headache, nausea/vomiting or fever. Considering his clinical laboratory findings, his neural lesions seemed to involve the meninges and spinal cord, suggestive of form fruste’ meningitis-retention syndrome. When clinicians encounter patients with urinary retention of undetermined aetiology, a spinal tap should be considered.

  • meningitis
  • neurology
  • spinal cord
  • urology
  • catheterisation / catheter care

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  • Contributors All authors contributed significantly and are in agreement with the content of the manuscript. RS: study concept and design, data acquisition and analysis, and manuscript writing, FT, YA and DS: data acquisition.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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

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