Urinary retention is defined as the inability to partially or completely empty the bladder caused by inflammation following radiotherapy treatment to the pelvic area and is a well known side effect of radioactive seed implantation of the prostate. It is reported rarely following external beam radiotherapy. Urinary retention can lead to lengthened hospital stays and increased risk of catheter related urinary tract infections.
The reported incidence rate for urinary retention requiring catheterisation following radioactive seed implementation is between 5 and 22%. The reported incidence for urinary retention induced by external beam radiotherapy is between 3-5%.r
The estimated time to onset is within days to weeks of commencing radiotherapy.r
Risk factors for patients developing urinary retention include the pre-implant prostate volume, the number of needles required for seed implantation, adjuvant hormonal therapy and patients with persistent pre-treatment urinary symptoms as measured by the International Prostate Symptom Score (score of 10 or greater).rr