Article Text

Reminder of important clinical lesson
Herpes zoster induced acute urinary retention in the immunocompetent female
  1. John Biddlestone,
  2. Lokesh Suraparaju,
  3. Nimish Shah
  1. Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Urology, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK
  1. john.biddlestone{at}


We present a rare case of acute urinary retention complicated by constipation secondary to a unilateral herpes zoster reactivation in the S2-4 dermatomes of an immunocompetent female. Diagnosis was confirmed by clinical examination, negative cystoscopy and positive viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for herpes zoster virus. The patient was commenced on a course of oral acyclovir, the bowel symptoms resolved, and the patient was discharged with a urinary catheter in situ for an outpatient trial without catheter for 2 weeks to be followed by a course of intermittent self catheterisation pending resolution of symptoms.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication