REVIEW ARTICLEAcute urinary retention and the difficult catheterization current emergency managementSliwinski, Ania; D’Arcy, Frank T.; Sultana, Ron; Lawrentschuk, NathanAuthor Information aUrology Unit, Department of Surgery, Austin Health, University of Melbourne bOlivia Newton-John Cancer Research Centre and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne cEpworth Emergency Department, Epworth Hospital, Richmond, Victoria, Australia Correspondence to Nathan Lawrentschuk, MBBS, PhD, FRACS, Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Austin Hospital Tower, 145 Studley Rd, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia Tel: +61 9496 5000; fax: +61 9457 5829; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received April 1, 2015 Accepted September 21, 2015 European Journal of Emergency Medicine: April 2016 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 80-88 doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000334 Buy Metrics Abstract Acute urinary retention (AUR) is a common presentation to emergency departments. This article updates the reader on the appropriate management, investigations and guidelines for AUR. It looks at the mechanism of normal micturition and describes the theories of AUR. It outlines urethral catheterization techniques for difficult cases, reviews suprapubic catheterization procedures and describes the management of AUR in polytrauma. Although emergency management is by bladder drainage, key points in the history and examination may expose significant, latent pathologies. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.