Use of portable ultrasound to assist urine collection by suprapubic aspiration

Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Jun;20(6):631-5. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)82381-9.


Study objective: To determine whether portable ultrasound can improve the success rate of suprapubic aspiration (SPA).

Design: Patients were randomly assigned to either ultrasound or no ultrasound groups. In the ultrasound group, patients underwent SPA if ultrasound revealed urine in the bladder: if no urine was present, patients underwent catheterization instead of SPA. In the no-ultrasound group, SPA was attempted without ultrasound. All unsuccessful SPAs were followed by catheterization and measurement of urine volume.

Setting: Children's hospital-based pediatric emergency department.

Participants: Children less than 2 years old who required SPA.

Interventions: Ultrasound versus no ultrasound.

Results: Thirty-five patients were randomized to the ultrasound group, and 31 were randomized to the no-ultrasound group. SPA was successful in 79% of attempts in the ultrasound group compared with 52% in the no-ultrasound group (P = .04). The sensitivity and specificity of ultrasound were 90% and 86%, respectively.

Conclusion: Portable ultrasound can significantly improve the success rate of SPA and limit nonproductive attempts at SPA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Trees
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Specimen Handling / standards*
  • Suction / instrumentation
  • Suction / methods
  • Suction / standards*
  • Ultrasonography / economics
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Ultrasonography / standards*
  • Urinary Catheterization / standards
  • Urine / chemistry*