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Urinary Tract Fistula

Urinary Tract Fistula is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Urinary tract fistulas can form between any part of the urinary tract and structures in the thoracic cavity, the abdominal cavity, the pelvis, and the skin.


  • Colovesical fistula:
    • Usually complication of primary GI disease such as diverticular disease (most common), Crohn's disease, or colon carcinoma
    • Iatrogenic (postsurgical or radiation treatment most common)
    • Urethral disruption from trauma
    • More common in males
  • Vesicovaginal, urethrovaginal, and ureterovaginal fistulas:
    • Vesicovaginal fistula is the most common acquired fistula of the urinary tract
    • Etiology varies with geography (developed vs. developing countries):
      • In developed countries it is usually due to injury to the structures during surgery, pelvic pathology, radiation therapy, or injuries incurred in the healing process. Radiation-induced fistulas may not present for months to years after exposure.
      • In developing countries it is usually due to obstructed labor and obstetric trauma.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Urinary Tract Fistula." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307010/all/Urinary_Tract_Fistula.
Urinary Tract Fistula. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307010/all/Urinary_Tract_Fistula. Accessed April 20, 2019.
Urinary Tract Fistula. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307010/all/Urinary_Tract_Fistula
Urinary Tract Fistula [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 20]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307010/all/Urinary_Tract_Fistula.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Urinary Tract Fistula ID - 307010 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307010/all/Urinary_Tract_Fistula PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -