Category: Visual Diagnosis
35 year-old male presents after a motor vehicle crash. No blood seen at the meatus of the penis and a Foley catheter is placed (see photo below). What's the next diagnostic step?
Answer: Retrograde cystogram
Traumatic bladder rupture
Gross or microscopic hematuria (>50 RBCs per high-power field) following blunt trauma requires a retrograde cystogram to evaluate for bladder injury. If blood is present at the meatus, however, urethral injury (not discussed) should be suspected and retrograde urethrogram should be performed before passing a Foley catheter.
A retrograde cystogram is performed by infusing diluted contrast into the bladder (200-400 mL) to gently distend the bladder and allow visualization of potential rupture(s). A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis is then performed to determine if any contrast has leaked from the bladder; alternatively an AP pelvis can also be used, but is not as sensitive as CT.
Traumatic bladder ruptures are categorized as either intra-peritoneal or extra-peritoneal (note: X-ray below demonstrates extra-peritoneal rupture).
Treatment for bladder rupture:
Prognosis is typically good for either injury.
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