Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Emerg Med. 2010 Nov;39(5):602-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2009.04.053. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

Neuroblastoma causing acute urinary retention: a rare presentation.

Author information

  • 1Emergency Medicine Residency, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children under the age of 5 years and, after acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is the second most prevalent malignancy in childhood. Acute urinary retention is rare in children, especially due to a neuroblastoma.


To present the potential complications of a pelvic neuroblastoma.


A 9-month-old infant presented with urinary retention that had been attributed in the past to the infant's chronic constipation. She was catheterized and a large residual of urine was obtained; she was discharged home. She returned the following day with the same complaint. Plain radiographs suggested a soft tissue density in the pelvic region with no evidence of constipation. Rectal examination revealed a mass, and a computed tomography scan showed a large, solid mass. Pathological examination confirmed a pelvic neuroblastoma, which was resected.


The most common causes of acute urinary retention are urinary tract infections, lower urinary stones, neurologic processes, trauma, and constipation. A detailed and focused history and physical examination can be very helpful in diagnosing a pathological cause of urinary retention, such as a pelvic neuroblastoma.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk