Measurement of Post-void Residual Bladder Volumes in Hospitalized Older Adults

  • Zvi Shimoni
    Internal Medicine B, Laniado Hospital, Netanya, Israel

    Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
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  • Ela Fruger
    Internal Medicine B, Laniado Hospital, Netanya, Israel

    Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
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  • Paul Froom
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Paul Froom, MD, School of Public Health, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Menashe, Tel Aviv 37805, Israel.
    School of Public Health, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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Published:September 02, 2014DOI:



      It is commonly recommended to catheterize or closely follow up patients with post-void residual volumes of 150 mL or more, but the frequency of such findings in geriatric hospitalized patients and the need for intervention are unclear.


      Post-void residual volumes were measured by ultrasound examination within 14 hours of admission in 464 patients aged 70 years or more who were hospitalized in a regional hospital general internal medicine department. Outcome variables included the need for an indwelling catheter and complications of urinary retention during the hospitalization.


      Post-void residual volumes of ≥150 mL were common (23.9%; 111/464) and had the following distribution: 150 to 299 mL, 13.1% (61/464); 300 to 499 mL, 6.4% (30/464); and 500 mL or more, 6% (28/464). The rate of indwelling catheters was 3.2% (15/464). Results of post-void residual volumes did not predict the need for indwelling catheters in those without other criteria, although those with indications for indwelling catheters had a significantly higher frequency of post-void residual volumes ≥500 mL (P < .001) compared with those without such indications.


      We conclude that urinary retention in hospitalized geriatric patients is common, but measurements of post-void residual volumes did not have definite clinical utility. However, the study had limited power to determine the benefits or potential harms of urinary catheterization for elevated post-void residual volumes.


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