It is a remarkable fact that in such a well systematized science as medicine, so perfectly obvious a fact as micturition has escaped a clear-cut definition of its various phenomena. The looseness of the terminology has engendered looseness of diagnosis and therapy. We are, therefore, daily encountering essays in our medical literature dealing with incontinence of urine which mean principally excessive frequency of urination. I was as much a sinner as the rest, as may be seen by one of my previous articles,1 in which I reported sixty-four cases of pollakiuria under the false title of polyuria.
DEFINING THE SUBJECT
The trouble lies in choosing one term to describe two widely different phenomena. In a medical dictionary2 we find, for instance, anuria defined as (1) retention of urine and (2) suppression of urine. The first means mechanical retention of urine in the bladder or pelvis of the kidney,
KAHN WW. POLLAKIURIA AS A FUNCTIONAL DISTURBANCE DUE TO EYE-STRAINCAUSES OF EXCESSIVE FREQUENCY OF MICTURATION. JAMA. 1918;71(23):1877–1880. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600490009003