Review: Urinary dysfunction sensitive for cauda equina?

We are starting to see some good research and audits come out by our residents in Emergency Medicine here in Singapore.
We have decided to put these online for everyone's benefit. They will be under our "EBM" heading on the menu.

Here is the 1st of hopefully many reviews. It is done in a BETs style.

Author: Dr Joanna Chan


A shortcut review was carried out to establish whether the presence of urinary dysfunction in patients presenting with lower back pain is a sensitive test for the presence of cauda equina syndrome (CES). 274 papers were found using the reported searches, of which 4 presented the best evidence to answer the question posed above. The author, country, date, patient group, study type, key clinical findings on presentation, authors’ conclusion and study weaknesses are tabulated.  It is concluded that self-reported urinary dysfunction is neither sensitive nor specific for CES.

Full review is here.

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