Acute urinary retention (AUR) is a common urological emergency. In this article, we review the current literature and present a structured summary in management of AUR.METHODS:
A systematic review was conducted using the keywords ‘acute AND retention AND urin*’ within the title in search engines including Medline, EMBASE and EBM Review. The obtained literature was manually reviewed by the primary author (PDY) and was further refined by confining the subject to management of AUR. Exclusion criteria included paediatric and female population studies, case reports, reviews, surveys, economical assessment and articles on AUR in prostate cancer and postoperative patients.RESULTS:
Total of 54 articles met our inclusion and exclusion criteria. The trial without catheter (TWOC) post-immediate catheterisation is widely practiced although there remains a significant variability in terms of type and duration of catheterisation required, use of concurrent medical therapy or post-catheterisation management. Our systematic review and subsequent meta-analysis has shown superiority of α1-adrenergic receptor blockers over placebo in achieving successful voiding in patients with AUR. Suprapubic catheter (SPC) is an alternative to urethral catheterisation (indwelling catheter (IDC)) and may provide several advantages. Clean intermittent self-catheterisation may be a safe and useful option for patients with AUR until their definitive management. The overall long-term outcome of in-and-out catheterisation remains promising in selected patients. Surgery is an end point in patients with unsuccessful TWOC as well as in those with significant lower urinary tract symptoms post-successful TWOC.CONCLUSIONS:
We recommend use of α1-adrenergic receptor blockers before TWOC and discourage emergency operative management. Use of SPC over IDC in AUR is debatable. Duration of catheterisation is controversial but <3 days is a safe option in avoiding catheterisation-related complications. Although TURP remains the current gold standard, there has been an emergence of newer operative management utilising laser techniques.