Distended bladder presenting with constipation and venous obstruction: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2012 Jan 24;6:34. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-34.


Introduction: A distended urinary bladder has been known to cause venous obstruction or rarely bowel obstruction. We report the first case in the literature in which urinary bladder distension presented with both venous obstruction and constipation. This is an unusual presentation of urinary bladder distension and serves to broaden our differential diagnoses for a patient with clinical venous obstruction.

Case presentation: An 83-year-old man of African descent presented with constipation and bilateral lower limb edema. A huge abdominal mass was evident which was a large, distended urinary bladder confirmed by computed tomography. Promptly after urethral catheterization, both constipation and lower limb edema resolved.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge distended urinary bladder causing both constipation and lower limb edema has never previously been reported. Analysis of the literature revealed several factors resulting in the patient's presentation. A high level of suspicion for urinary bladder distension must be maintained for prompt diagnosis and to avoid improper management.