Transient urinary retention and chronic neuropathic pain associated with genital herpes simplex virus infection

Authors

  • Maija Haanpää,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Pain Clinic, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine and Department of Neurosurgery and the
      *Maija Haanpää
      Pain Clinic
      Helsinki University Central Hospital
      PO Box 340
      FIN-00029 HUS
      Finland
      e-mail: maija.haanpaa@hus.fi
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  • Jorma Paavonen

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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*Maija Haanpää
Pain Clinic
Helsinki University Central Hospital
PO Box 340
FIN-00029 HUS
Finland
e-mail: maija.haanpaa@hus.fi

Abstract

Background.  Genital herpes (GH) causes genital ulcer disease, severe transient pain, and often paresthesias. Whether or not GH can cause urinary retention or chronic neuropathic pain is not well known.

Methods.  We present two immunocompetent patients with GH associated with neuropathic symptoms. We also review the literature on GH and associated neurologic problems.

Results.  Patient 1 had primary herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 infection with transient urinary retention and chronic bilateral neuropathic pain in the sacral area. Patient 2 had recurrent HSV-1 associated with unitaleral chronic neuropathic pain in the sacral area. Although transient urinary retention associated with GH is not uncommon, chronic neuropathic pain has not been reported previously.

Conclusions.  Our cases show that chronic neuropathic pain, that is “pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system,” can follow genital HSV infection.

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