OBJECTIVE To summarize characteristics of the point prescriptions for acupuncture treatment of urinary retention from 1994 to 2005. METHODS Review of literature was made from following five aspects: body acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, ear acupuncture, hand acupuncture and abdomen acupuncture. For the prescriptions of body acupuncture, further analysis was made on single point prescription, distal-proximal point association, superior-inferior point association, point selection according to syndrome differentiation and point selection according to disease differentiation. CONCLUSION Acupuncture has affirmative therapeutic effect on urinary retention. However, there are still problems to be resolved in clinical researches at present.