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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 446--447

Acute urine retention caused by lumbosacral sedimentation of subarachnoid hemorrhage in a patient with a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm

Tsung-Ming Su1, Ka-Yen Yang1, Yeh-Lin Kuo2, Shih-Wei Hsu2,  
1 Department of Neurosurgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Shih-Wei Hsu
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung
Taiwan




How to cite this article:
Su TM, Yang KY, Kuo YL, Hsu SW. Acute urine retention caused by lumbosacral sedimentation of subarachnoid hemorrhage in a patient with a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm.Neurol India 2012;60:446-447


How to cite this URL:
Su TM, Yang KY, Kuo YL, Hsu SW. Acute urine retention caused by lumbosacral sedimentation of subarachnoid hemorrhage in a patient with a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm. Neurol India [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Oct 27 ];60:446-447
Available from: https://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2012/60/4/446/100736


Full Text

Sir,

The term "lumbar sedimentation sign" to describe the phenomenon of layering of altered blood products within the cerebrospinal fluid space at the lumbosacral junction on spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been reported recently in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). [1] However, no clinical manifestations correlating with lumbar sedimentation of SAH has been reported. We present a case with aneurysmal SAH who presented with acute urine retention due to sedimentation of subarachnoid blood products in the lumbosacral thecal space.

A 63-year-old female experienced sudden-onset explosive headache while bathing. Examination in the emergency room showed Glasgow Coma Scale score of E4V4M6. Cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan demonstrated diffuse SAH. Cerebral angiography revealed a saccular aneurysm arising at the junction of left internal carotid artery and posterior communicating artery. The aneurysm was successfully occluded with detachable coils. Six days after the ictus, she noted intermittent low back pain with radiation to both legs with no sphincter disturbance. Two days later, she complained of voiding difficulty and saddle tingling sensation. Urine analysis revealed no evidence of infection, and urine culture showed no growth of organisms. A spinal MRI disclosed an apparent fluid-fluid level in the dependent portion of the lumbosacral thecal sac [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Sedimentation of blood products originating from the intracranial SAH was considered. Repeated spinal MRI was obtained with the patient in Trendelenburg position for more than 30 minutes. The layering pattern in the thecal sac became blurring and almost vanished on axial images [Figure 3]. Two hours after the second MRI examination, she experienced severe headache and vomited twice. Repeated brain CT scan revealed no evidence of bleed. She received intermittent catheterization and medical treatment. With conservative treatment, her voiding problem improved gradually, and she returned home ten days later with mild low back pain. The patient recovered completely at 3-month follow-up.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

The possible etiology of acute urine retention in this patient is an interesting issue. Side effects from medication were excluded because no drug with anticholinergic effect was used. No evidence of urinary tract infection was established by laboratory studies. Spinal arachnoiditis after SAH was a rare sequel that could cause acute urine retention. [2],[3] However, the onset of presenting symptoms is late and the prognosis is poor in most reported cases. [2],[3] In this case, the onset of presenting symptoms was much earlier and the neurological deficits recovered well with conservative treatment. According to the time course of the presenting symptoms (back pain, then acute urine retention after resuming activity), we thought the cause of acute urine retention was more likely resulting from the effect of chemical irritation caused by the sedimentation of hemorrhagic products in the lumbosacral subarachnoid space after resuming activity. The appropriate management for such cases remains an unknown issue. According to the experiences of previous reports that spinal subarachnoid hematoma occurred after lumbar puncture, [4],[5],[6] the management strategy depends on the clinical manifestations. However, our patient is different from the cases with spinal subarachnoid hematoma after lumbar puncture, because the presenting symptoms/signs are more likely resulting from the effect of chemical irritation caused by the hemorrhagic products in the subarachnoid space, not the mass effect caused by sedimentation of subarachnoid blood products. We think surgical intervention is not indicated for this kind of case because the sedimentary blood products do not cause mass effect. Lumbar puncture may be beneficial by removing the hemorrhagic blood products, thus reducing the irritating effect. Postural drainage by Trendelenburg position to dilute the sedimentary blood products may be another treatment option.

References

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