1/28/13 - Thank you to EM PGY3, Stephanie Kahn - currently on the advanced US elective - for putting together this useful IOW!
John Lemos, MD, MPH
This weeks IOW comes to us from Dr. Ashleigh Fay.
Measuring bladder volume can be useful to look for urinary retention especially in patients with urological complaints such as urinary retention, chronic foleys and suspect neurologic injury such as cauda equina. One of the most common and easiest methods to measure bladder volume is the prolate ellipsoid equation: Volume = Length x Width x Height x 0.52. This method has been found to be fast and reliable.
The first image is the transverse view of the bladder with width measurements and the second image is the sagittal view with the length and height measurements. Under the calculations button there is an option to help you calculate the bladder volume quickly with the above 3 measurements.
There are other methods to measure the bladder highlighted in this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15906795.John Lemos, MD, MPH