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Signs
 
 

Bladder Distension

 
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Overview

  • 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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