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Urol Ann. 2017 Oct-Dec;9(4):339-342. doi: 10.4103/0974-7796.216320.

Rapid versus gradual bladder decompression in acute urinary retention.

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Department of Urology, Al-Azhar University, Assiut, Egypt.
Department of Urology Research, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Irvine, CA, USA.
Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, MA, USA.



To demonstrate a benefit in diminished adverse events such as hypotension and hematuria with gradual drainage of the bladder when compared to rapid decompression in patients with acute urinary retention (AUR) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia in a case-control study.


Sixty-two patients matched our selection criteria presenting with AUR. They were divided into two groups - the first was managed by rapid drainage of the bladder, the second was managed by gradual drainage through a urethral catheter (The first 100 mL immediately evacuated, then the rest evacuated gradually over 2 h).


The mean age was 64.4 and 63.2 years in the first and second group, respectively. Diagnosed cause was benign hyperplasia of the prostate. Hematuria occurred in two patients in the first group and none in the second group. The two cases of hematuria were mild and treated conservatively. After the relief of the obstruction, the mean blood pressure was noticed to decrease by 15 mmHg and 10 mmHg in the first and second group, respectively, however, no one developed significant hypotension. Pain relief was achieved after complete drainage in the first group and after the evacuation of 100 mL in the second group.


We conclude that there is no significant difference between rapid and gradual decompression of the bladder in patients with AUR. Hematuria and hypotension may occur after rapid decompression of the obstructed urinary bladder, but these complications are rarely clinically significant.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia; prostate; retention

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