Which physical findings suggest herpes zoster (shingles) involving the urinary bladder?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Rarely, zoster involving the dermatomes of the buttock area (vertebral nerves L1, L2, S2, S3, S4) may be associated with vesicles in the bladder, which can cause severe dysuria and urinary frequency. This picture is easily mistaken for that of cystitis. If vesicles rupture in the bladder, hematuria (another common symptom of cystitis) may occur. Transient bladder paralysis resulting from zoster involving the gluteal and sacral regions and lumbar sympathetic segments has been reported, and acute urinary retention is possible if a motor component exists.


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