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July 7, 1975

More on "Oturia"

Author Affiliations

University of Kentucky Lexington, Ky

JAMA. 1975;233(1):24. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260010026014

To the Editor.—  In reference to the recent QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS regarding "Oturia—An Etymological Evanescence" (231:869, 1975), I am aware of one case reported nearly 150 years ago of a young woman who was frustrated in her attempts to micturate in the usual manner by a prolapsed uterus. Evacuation of the bladder was achieved by intermittent catheterization, but if this was not performed regularly, the urine sought other avenues of escape, including the lumbar sweat glands, the stomach, the right nipple, the left eye, and both ears, particularly the right ear. Laboratory evidence that the fluid was urine is given in that, when thrown against a heated shovel, it "gave off the odour so peculiar to urine, indicating the presence of urea."1Apparently, our early 19th century predecessors were fascinated by the passage of what appeared to be urine from unlikely orifices, as evidenced by other articles of the period.