What are the causes and consequences of bladder overdistension?: ICI-RS 2011

Helmut Madersbacher*, Linda Cardozo, Christopher Chapple, Paul Abrams, Philip Toozs-Hobson, John S. Young, Jean-Jacques Wyndaele, Stefan De Wachter, Lysanne Campeau, Jerzy B. Gajewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims To report the outcome of the think tank on prolonged bladder overdistension from the 3rd ICI-RS meeting. Methods: Prolonged bladder overdistension was discussed after acute urinary retention, its terminology, its prevalence, pathophysiology, and consequences, as well as prophylactic and therapeutic aspects. Results: Acute prolonged bladder overdistension (ApBO) is a consequence of undetected or inadequately treated acute retention, and is mostly due to regional anesthesia, prolonged childbirth, or extensive surgery. Currently, there is no agreed terminology. A primary, temporary neurogenic detrusor dysfunction causing retention is associated with decreased or absent bladder sensation therefore patients do not complain, and management is delayed. Therapeutically, the first intervention is to drain the bladder. Recovery depends on whether reversible or irreversible damage has occurred. There are no good data to support the use of drugs or sacral neuromodulation. Intravesical electrostimulation is the only treatment that has specifically addressed this problem with encouraging results. There are no recent reports on the effect of surgery for myogenic bladder damage. Conclusion: ApBO is an important, but often unrecognized medical complication. There is a need for defining the terminology, for studies to record the incidence of different types of bladder overdistension, and to establish management strategies. Apart from clean intermittent self catheterizaiton (CIC) there are no data justifying pharmacological or other therapies. Therefore, prevention is of paramount importance and there is a need to develop and test preventative strategies, which should then be incorporated in surgical registries. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:317-321, 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-321
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • etiology
  • pathophysiology
  • prolonged bladder overdistension
  • therapeutic aspects

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