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Bladder Distension



    • How to Elicit

    • Gently palpate from the umbilicus downward toward the pelvis, feeling for a full bladder.
    • Significance

    • The bladder, not normally palpable, may only be palpated when it is grossly enlarged in the setting of urinary retention.
    • Causes of Urinary Retention

    • Obstructive

    • Extrinsic compression - constipation, pelvic / ovarian tumour
    • Prostatic - benign prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer, prostatitis
    • Urethral - stricture, calculus, clot, urethritis
    • Neurological

    • Cauda equina - trauma, disc prolapse, tumour, abscess, infarct, myelitis, HSV, varicella, CMV
    • Autonomic dysfunction
    • Spina bifida
    • Other

    • Medications - opioids, anticholinergics
    • Psychogenic
    • Idiopathic
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