Bladder Rupture


Article Author:
Leslie Simon
Muhammad Hashmi


Article Editor:
Bracken Burns


Editors In Chief:
Anne Kennedy


Managing Editors:
Avais Raja
Orawan Chaigasame
Khalid Alsayouri
Kyle Blair
Radia Jamil
Erin Hughes
Patrick Le
Anoosh Zafar Gondal
Saad Nazir
William Gossman
Hassam Zulfiqar
Navid Mahabadi
Hussain Sajjad
Steve Bhimji
Muhammad Hashmi
John Shell
Matthew Varacallo
Heba Mahdy
Ahmad Malik
Abbey Smiley
Sarosh Vaqar
Mark Pellegrini
James Hughes
Beenish Sohail
Hajira Basit
Phillip Hynes
Sandeep Sekhon


Updated:
11/14/2019 6:03:14 PM

Introduction

Bladder rupture, a relatively rare condition, is most commonly due to abdominal and/or pelvic trauma but may be spontaneous or iatrogenic in association with surgical or endoscopic procedures. In adults, the bladder is well protected within the bony pelvis. As such, the vast majority of bladder injuries occur in association with pelvic fractures, particularly those involving the pubic rami. Pelvic pain and gross hematuria are present in most patients. Diagnosis is confirmed with retrograde cystography, either with computed tomography (CT) or plain films. Bladder ruptures may occur in the peritoneal space but are more commonly extraperitoneal. Uncomplicated extraperitoneal ruptures are frequently managed non-operatively with a Foley catheter, while intraperitoneal ruptures require surgical repair.[1][2][3][4][5]

Etiology

Blunt force trauma in association with motor vehicle crashes accounts for most cases of bladder rupture. Motorcycle crashes are also commonly associated with pelvic trauma and can be associated with bladder rupture as well. Intraperitoneal ruptures usually occur when the full bladder is subjected to compressive forces on the lower abdomen. Extraperitoneal ruptures are usually associated with pelvic fractures either due to compressive forces on the pelvis causing rupture of the anterior or lateral bladder wall or from direct penetration of the bladder by bony fracture fragments. Falls and penetrating missiles are less common causes.[6][7][8]

Iatrogenic injury to the bladder may be associated with gynecological and colorectal surgery, urologic procedures, and Foley catheter placement. Bladder punctures most commonly occur in association with midline trocar placement below the umbilicus during laparoscopic procedures. Ensuring the bladder is empty, preferably with a catheter inserted prior to trocar placement, helps to minimize this risk.

Spontaneous bladder rupture is quite rare and is associated with high mortality. Cases have been reported in association with vaginal delivery, hemophilia, malignancy, radiation, infection, and urinary retention.

Epidemiology

Bladder injuries occur in about 1.6% of patients with blunt abdominal trauma. Approximately 60% of bladder injuries are extraperitoneal, 30% are intraperitoneal, and the remaining 10% are both extra and intraperitoneal.

Pathophysiology

In adults, the empty bladder is well protected within the bony pelvis, but a full bladder may be distended to reach the level of the umbilicus, making it more vulnerable to injury.  In very young children, the bladder is an intraabdominal organ, exposing it to injury in the setting of trauma. The weakest part of the bladder is the peritoneal dome. Spontaneous and iatrogenic ruptures are usually intraperitoneal while traumatic ruptures, especially those associated with pelvic fracture, tend to be extraperitoneal.

Bladder rupture may be extraperitoneal or intraperitoneal. The type of bladder rupture depends on the location of the injury and its relationship with the peritoneal reflection as below:

1. If the bladder rupture is above the peritoneal reflection (on the bladder dome) the urine extravasation will be intraperitoneal.

2. If the bladder rupture is below the peritoneal reflection and not on the dome, the urine extravasation will be extraperitoneal.

Toxicokinetics

Extraperitoneal rupture

The majority of extraperitoneal rupture cases are associated with a pelvic fracture. This may be due to the deceleration injury and fluid inertia combined with the shearing frictional force that develops when the pelvic ring is fractured or deformed. Sometimes the extraperitoneal rupture may be due to perforation by bone fragments. With extraperitoneal rupture, the contrast will extravasate the bladder base and confined to the perivesical space.

Intraperitoneal rupture

The bladder dome is well supported and is often the site of intraperitoneal rupture. The mode of injury is an increase in intravesical pressure and compression from the adjacent pelvis. intraperitoneal bladder rupture can occur following steering wheel trauma and a direct blow. Urine will drain into the abdominal cavity and the diagnosis is not always easy. As the urine gets resorbed into the systemic circulation, major electrolyte and metabolic abnormalities may become apparent. In addition, the patient may develop anuria. The diagnosed may be confirmed with urinary paracentesis or extravasation of urine on an imaging study.

History and Physical

In most cases, patients with bladder rupture have gross hematuria (77% to 100%). Other signs of bladder rupture include pelvic pain, lower abdominal pain, and difficulty voiding. It is important to note that trauma to the urinary tract is frequently associated with other traumatic injuries.

Pelvic fractures should raise the suspicion of injury to the bladder, urethra, rectum, and vagina. A careful physical exam is critical to the timely diagnosis of these injuries. Any pelvic fracture may be associated with bladder rupture, but fractures that involve the anterior arch or all four pubic rami significantly increase the risk. Pelvic fractures with ring disruption and those associated with posterior injury through the sacrum or ileum are also high risk for bladder rupture.

Spontaneous ruptures present with pelvic pain, renal failure, urinary ascites, and sepsis.

Overall, the incidence of intraperitoneal bladder rupture is much higher in children because of the intra-abdominal location of the bladder at a young age.

More important, bladder rupture is often associated with colon injuries.

Evaluation

Urinalysis will show gross hematuria. Fewer than 1% of patients with bladder rupture present with urinalysis containing less than 25 red blood cells per high power field. Spontaneously voided specimens are preferable but often not practical in patients with severe injury. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine may be elevated due to peritoneal absorption of urine, especially if delayed presentation after injury.[9][10][11]

Focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) exam may show free fluid in the pelvis in patients with intraperitoneal bladder rupture. The FAST exam does not distinguish urine from blood, making ultrasound less specific for intraperitoneal bleeding in patients with pelvic trauma.

Pelvic trauma and blood at the urethral meatus should raise the concern for urethral injury, and a retrograde urethrogram (RUG) should be performed before blind placement of a urinary catheter.

Stable patients with gross hematuria and pelvic fractures require a retrograde cystogram to assess for bladder rupture. A retrograde cystogram is also recommended to assess patients with gross hematuria or symptoms suggesting bladder rupture even in the absence of pelvic fracture. However, the presence of pelvic fracture does not require a retrograde cystogram in all patients, especially those without hematuria or high-risk fracture patterns. Plain film and CT cystograms have similar sensitivity and specificity. Mechanism and associated injuries often determine the type of imaging a clinician uses. Passive bladder filling by clamping the foley is inadequate, and bladder distention with retrograde filling is necessary to avoid missing more subtle injuries. Retrograde cystogram and urethrogram may interfere with the interpretation of pelvic angiography and should be deferred in unstable patients requiring embolization for control of pelvic hemorrhage. Traditionally, fluoroscopic cystography was used to assess the suspected cases of bladder rupture. However, this is a time-consuming investigation, and now, a CT-retrograde cystogram is considered to be the imaging study of choice as it also allows us to characterize other pelvic structures.[12]

Patients with penetrating pelvic trauma and gross or microscopic hematuria require an evaluation of the bladder. Depending on the clinical situation, this may be surgical, endoscopic, or radiologic.

Treatment / Management

American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines recommend that intraperitoneal bladder ruptures be surgically repaired. Most intraperitoneal ruptures associated with blunt trauma are large “blow out” injuries to the dome of the bladder. They will not heal spontaneously with urinary catheter drainage alone. Unrecognized and unrepaired intraperitoneal bladder ruptures may lead to peritonitis, sepsis, and renal failure. Since many are associated with major trauma, open repair is most common, but laparoscopic repair may be appropriate in some circumstances. During operative evaluation of bladder rupture at the dome, it is recommended to evaluate the entire bladder and not just repair the obvious injury. This may require enlarging an existing injury in order to evaluate the trigone area of the bladder. Repair of the bladder injury may be single or double-layered closure. It is recommended to avoid permanent suture on the mucosal repair as this may be a nidus for future stone formation. A Foley catheter is routinely left in the bladder after repair. Follow-up cystography should be performed to confirm healing in complex cases.[13]

AUA guidelines recommend that uncomplicated extraperitoneal bladder injuries be managed conservatively with catheter placement. Standard therapy involves leaving the catheter in place for 2 to 3 weeks, but it may be left in longer in some cases. Extraperitoneal ruptures that do not heal after 4 weeks of catheter drainage should be considered for surgical repair. Complicated extraperitoneal bladder ruptures, such as those associated with bone fragments within the bladder and those associated with vaginal or rectal injuries, often require operative repair. Bladder neck injuries often will not heal without surgical repair. Follow-up cystography should be used to confirm healing after treatment with a urinary catheter.

Catheter drainage can usually be performed with a urethral catheter.  A suprapubic cystostomy is rarely required following surgical repair unless a urethral injury is also present and a catheter is unable to be placed secondary to urethral disruption. Urinary catheters have shown to be adequate, resulting in a shorter length of stay and lower morbidity.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Child abuse
  • Penile trauma
  • Sexual assault
  • Urethral trauma
  • Vaginal trauma

Prognosis

Bladder perforation is no longer fatal as it once was. With more awareness and better imaging, most cases are diagnosed quickly. In some cases, surgery may help with the speed of healing and shorten the hospital stay. The overall prognosis depends on other injuries. When the pelvic floor is injured, some patients may develop urinary incontinence.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Bladder rupture is not a common injury but when it presents its diagnosis and management are best done with an interprofessional team that consists of a surgeon, urologist, nephrologist, trauma surgeon, emergency department physician, and specialty trained nurses.

There are guidelines released by the AUA for the repair of bladder rupture. These patients do need close follow-up after surgery to ensure that bladder function is intact.

Nurses looking after patients with bladder rupture should have a sign at the head of the bed that the foley is not to be removed unless ordered by the surgeon. Nurses should also educate patients and their families that incontinence may develop for a short time after the catheter is removed. The nurses should assist in encouraging the patient to return if complications arise such as difficulty voiding or fever. The nurse should arrange followup of complications with the interprofessional team.

In some patients, catheter drainage can usually be performed with a urethral catheter.  A suprapubic cystostomy is rarely required following surgical repair unless a urethral injury is also present and a catheter is unable to be placed secondary to urethral disruption. Urinary catheters have shown to be adequate, resulting in a shorter length of stay and lower the morbidity. Open communication between the nurses and urologist is important to ensure good outcomes.

Overall, prompt repair of bladder injuries is associated with good outcomes. [14](Level V)


Interested in Participating?

We are looking for contributors to author, edit, and peer review our vast library of review articles and multiple choice questions. In as little as 2-3 hours you can make a significant contribution to your specialty. In return for a small amount of your time, you will receive free access to all content and you will be published as an author or editor in eBooks, apps, online CME/CE activities, and an online Learning Management System for students, teachers, and program directors that allows access to review materials in over 500 specialties.

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor

This is an academic project designed to provide inexpensive peer-reviewed Apps, eBooks, and very soon an online CME/CE system to help students identify weaknesses and improve knowledge. We would like you to consider being an author or editor. Please click here to learn more. Thank you for you for your interest, the StatPearls Publishing Editorial Team.

Bladder Rupture - Questions

Take a quiz of the questions on this article.

Take Quiz
Which is a common feature of bladder rupture?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up
A 35-year-old woman who is one-week postpartum after a spontaneous vaginal delivery with prolonged labor presents with nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain, gross hematuria, and difficulty in voiding. On physical examination, there is suprapubic distention, rebound tenderness, and guarding. On auscultation, there are absent bowel sounds. Her laboratory findings revealed blood urea nitrogen (BUN) of 9 mmol/L ( normal range: 2.5 to 7.1 mmol/L) and a creatinine level of 132 (normal range: 74.3 to 107 mmol/ L). Which of the following imaging studies would best clarify the most probable diagnosis?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up
A 24-year-old male motorcyclist is brought to an emergency department by emergency medical responders after she was hit by a car. On physical examination, her blood pressure was 102/60 mmHg, heart rate was 124 bpm, and respiratory rate of 28 breaths/min with an oxygen saturation of 94% at room air. There were bruises on her both thighs and around the pelvis and abdomen. Plain radiographs in the emergency department revealed a mid-shaft fracture of the right femoral bone and fracture of the left pubic ramus. The patient was catheterized in the emergency department, and the urinary bag showed gross hematuria. Urine dip stick test was positive for nitrates and leukocytes. CT retrograde cystogram was obtained in the emergency department, which showed extraluminal contrast into perivesical space as well as the extension of the contrast to the thighs, scrotum, and perineum. It also showed a fragment of pubic tubercle within the bladder. What is the next best step in the management of this patient?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up
A 35-year-old male motorcyclist is brought to an emergency department by emergency medical responders after she was hit by a car. On physical examination, her blood pressure was 110/70 mmHg, heart rate was 105 bpm, and respiratory rate of 24 breaths/min with an oxygen saturation of 96% at room air. There were bruises on her both thighs and around the pelvis and abdomen. Plain radiographs in the emergency department revealed an undisplaced fracture of the bilateral pubic ramus. The patient was catheterized in the emergency department, and the urinary bag showed gross hematuria. CT retrograde cystogram was obtained in the emergency department, which showed extraluminal contrast into perivesical space. What is the next best step in the management of this patient?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up
A 40-year-old man with no previous medical history is brought to the hospital after being struck by a car while he was crossing the road. He complains of abdominal and pelvic pain. Vital signs reveal a pulse of 130/min and blood pressure 88/50 mmHg after 1 liter of intravenous fluids given by EMS. On physical examination, there is suprapubic distention, rebound tenderness, and guarding. His pelvis is unstable and is reduced with a pelvic binder. His bedside FAST exam is positive for fluid in Morrison's pouch, and he is taken to the operating room. An exploratory laparotomy was done, and the bladder was repaired. The surgeon is unable to pass the foley catheter after the operation. What is the next best step in the management of this patient?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up
A 35-year-old woman who is one-week postpartum after a spontaneous vaginal delivery with prolonged labor presents with nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain, gross hematuria, and difficulty in voiding. On physical examination, there is suprapubic distention, rebound tenderness, and guarding. On auscultation, there are absent bowel sounds. She was catheterized in the emergency department, and the urinary bag showed gross hematuria. Her laboratory findings revealed blood urea nitrogen (BUN) of 10 mmol/L ( normal range: 2.5 to 7.1 mmol/L) and a creatinine level of 142 (normal range: 74.3 to 107 mmol/ L). What is the imaging modality of choice?



Click Your Answer Below


Would you like to access teaching points and more information on this topic?

Improve Content - Become an Author or Editor and get free access to the entire database, free eBooks, as well as free CME/CE as it becomes available. If interested, please click on "Sign Up" to register.

Purchase- Want immediate access to questions, answers, and teaching points? They can be purchased above at Apps and eBooks.


Sign Up

Bladder Rupture - References

References

Elkbuli A,Ehrhardt JD,Hai S,McKenney M,Boneva D, Management of blunt intraperitoneal bladder rupture: Case report and literature review. International journal of surgery case reports. 2019 Feb 1;     [PubMed]
Siccardi MA,Bordoni B, Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Perineal Body 2018 Jan;     [PubMed]
Otkjaer AM,Jørgensen HL,Clausen TD,Krebs L, Maternal short-term complications after planned cesarean delivery without medical indication: a register based study. Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica. 2019 Jan 30;     [PubMed]
Tsujio G,Nagahara H,Shibutani M,Fukuoka T,Matsutani S,Kusunoki C,Yamazoe S,Kimura K,Toyokawa T,Amano R,Tanaka H,Muguruma K,Yashiro M,Hirakawa K,Ohira M, [A Case of Appendiceal Cancer Wherein the Abdominal Abscess Ruptured into the Urinary Bladder Owing to Obstructive Appendicitis]. Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer     [PubMed]
Shimpi TR,Shikhare SN,Chung R,Wu P,Peh WCG, Imaging of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Emergencies in Binge Drinking. Canadian Association of Radiologists journal = Journal l'Association canadienne des radiologistes. 2019 Feb;     [PubMed]
Monsellato I,Morello A,Argenio G,Canepa MC,Lenti LM,Priora F, Spontaneous bladder rupture mimicking a jejuno-ileal perforation. Il Giornale di chirurgia. 2018 Sep-Oct;     [PubMed]
Murata R,Kamiizumi Y,Tani Y,Ishizuka C,Kashiwakura S,Tsuji T,Kasai H,Haneda T,Yoshida T,Katano H,Ito K, Spontaneous rupture of the urinary bladder due to bacterial cystitis. Journal of surgical case reports. 2018 Sep;     [PubMed]
Abu-Zidan FM,Shalak HS,Alhaddad MA, A diagnostic negative ultrasound finding in blunt abdominal trauma. Turkish journal of emergency medicine. 2018 Sep;     [PubMed]
Manjunath AS,Hofer MD, Urologic Emergencies. The Medical clinics of North America. 2018 Mar;     [PubMed]
Kang B,Eisenberg D,Sistrun N,Son H, Postoperative Intraperitoneal Bladder Rupture Detected by Renal Scintigraphy: The Importance of Postvoid Imaging. World journal of nuclear medicine. 2017 Oct-Dec;     [PubMed]
Phillips B,Holzmer S,Turco L,Mirzaie M,Mause E,Mause A,Person A,Leslie SW,Cornell DL,Wagner M,Bertellotti R,Asensio JA, Trauma to the bladder and ureter: a review of diagnosis, management, and prognosis. European journal of trauma and emergency surgery : official publication of the European Trauma Society. 2017 Dec;     [PubMed]
Rödder K,Olianas R,Fisch M, [Bladder injury. Diagnostics and treatment]. Der Urologe. Ausg. A. 2005 Aug;     [PubMed]
Johnsen NV,Dmochowski RR,Guillamondegui OD, Clinical Utility of Routine Follow-up Cystography in the Management of Traumatic Bladder Ruptures. Urology. 2018 Mar;     [PubMed]
Ramchandani P,Buckler PM, Imaging of genitourinary trauma. AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 2009 Jun;     [PubMed]

Disclaimer

The intent of StatPearls is to provide practice questions and explanations to assist you in identifying and resolving knowledge deficits. These questions and explanations are not intended to be a source of the knowledge base of all of medicine, nor is it intended to be a board or certification review of Radiology-Ultrasound. The authors or editors do not warrant the information is complete or accurate. The reader is encouraged to verify each answer and explanation in several references. All drug indications and dosages should be verified before administration.

StatPearls offers the most comprehensive database of free multiple-choice questions with explanations and short review chapters ever developed. This system helps physicians, medical students, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals identify education deficits and learn new concepts. StatPearls is not a board or certification review system for Radiology-Ultrasound, it is a learning system that you can use to help improve your knowledge base of medicine for life-long learning. StatPearls will help you identify your weaknesses so that when you are ready to study for a board or certification exam in Radiology-Ultrasound, you will already be prepared.

Our content is updated continuously through a multi-step peer review process that will help you be prepared and review for a thorough knowledge of Radiology-Ultrasound. When it is time for the Radiology-Ultrasound board and certification exam, you will already be ready. Besides online study quizzes, we also publish our peer-reviewed content in eBooks and mobile Apps. We also offer inexpensive CME/CE, so our content can be used to attain education credits while you study Radiology-Ultrasound.