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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-112

Color doppler ultrasonography: Its role in detection and treatment outcome in infravesical obstruction

Department of Urology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Correspondence Address:
P B Singh
Department of Urology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005
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Bladder weight and detrusor blood perfusion increases significantly with infravesical obstruction (IVO) and re­lease of obstruction results in reduction of bladder weight and detrusor blood flow. 38 patients with IVO were sub­jected to color Doppler ultrasonography (CD U) to detect the blood flow in the hypertrophied detrusor muscle. Blood flow was detected in 84.5% (Fisher exact probability <0.001). After surgical relief of obstruction, blood flow remained positive in 21.05% patients at 3 months and 13.10% patients at 6 months, which was because of per­sistence of IVO. Color Doppler ultrasonography (CDU) is a simple and non-invasive tool which can help in diag­nosis and follow-up of infravesical obstruction.

Keywords: Color Doppler ultrasonography. ultrasound evaluated bladder weight. infravesical obstruction.

How to cite this article:
Wani S, Hamid A, Kishore M G, Malviya V, Dwivedi U S, Singh P B. Color doppler ultrasonography: Its role in detection and treatment outcome in infravesical obstruction. Indian J Urol 2003;19:109-12

How to cite this URL:
Wani S, Hamid A, Kishore M G, Malviya V, Dwivedi U S, Singh P B. Color doppler ultrasonography: Its role in detection and treatment outcome in infravesical obstruction. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2022 May 26];19:109-12. Available from:

   Introduction Top

It is a well-known fact that infravesical obstruction is followed by compensatory hypertrophy and increase in blood perfusion of the detrusor muscle in the human and animal urinary bladder. Release of obstruction leads to decrease in this compensatory hypertrophy as well as blood flow as shown by animal studies. [1],[2] However, due to lack of non-invasive investigative tools, these changes have not been demonstrated in human bladders, and the urodynamic studies still remain the `gold standard' for diagnosis of the IVO. Assessment of the weight by ultrasound (UEBW = ultrasound evaluated bladder weight) has been shown to be a sensitive and non-invasive tool for assessing the infravesical obstruction. [3],[4] Remarkable improvements in the color Doppler ultrasonography has made it possible to detect the blood flow non-invasively and accurately in the hypertrophied detrusor resulting from the IVO. [5] The present study was undertaken to assess the applicability of CDU in detecting, quantifying and monitoring the detru­sor changes resulting from IVO.

   Patients and Methods Top

Between July 1999 and October 2000, 38 patients with IVO and 10 control cases without any lower urinary tract symptoms were included in the study (benign prostatic hyperplasia - 16, stricture urethra - 9, bladder neck ob­struction - 6, meatal stenosis - 7). Besides routine base­line investigations, uroflowmetry (UFM) was done in all the patients and voided volume, voiding time and peak flow rate (PFR) were recorded. Cystourethroscopy was done in all the patients and RGU and MCU in selected patients. All the patients were screened on GE LOGIC 400 CL color Doppler equipment using 3.5 and 7.5 MHz trans­ducer probes, with a partially full bladder with approxi­mate volume of 100 ml. Assuming the bladder to be a sphere, UEBW was calculated as under: [6]

Bladder wall thickness (T); Inner diameter (ID); Outer diameter (OD); Intravesical volume (IV); and total vesical volume (TV) were determined. Sequentially, the volume of the bladder wall (BV) was obtained by subtracting the IV from TV and the UEBW was calculated by multiply­ing the BV by specific gravity (1.0), [Figure - 1].


IV= Sagittal height x Sagittal depth x 6.6

UEBW = BV x Sp. gravity.

Next the anterior bladder wall was scanned for blood flow for 5 minutes using 7.5 MHx probe, and the results classified as BF (+) and BF (-). The BF (+) cases were further classified into pulsatile and non-pulsatile flow groups. In the BF (+) cases maximum (Vmax) and mini­mum (Vmin) blood flow velocities were measured by pulse Doppler method [Figure - 2],[Figure - 3],[Figure - 4],[Figure - 5]. In the pulsatile flow cases, the resistive index (RI) was calculated (R.I = Vmax-Vmin/ Vmax), and the values expressed as mean ± SD. [5]

Post-void rescanning was done to detect the amount of residual urine. All the cases were subjected to repeat UFM and CDU at 3 months and 6 months after surgical relief of IVO. RGU, MCU and cystourethroscopy were performed in the patients in whom UEBW remained elevated.

   Results Top

All the patients were males with a mean age of 48.47±16.04 years. The mean duration of obstructive symptoms was 12.05 ± 7.20 months. BPH accounted for 42.11% of all the patients. PFR ranged from 2 to 18 ml/sec before surgery (mean 9.45 ± 4.10 ml/sec). After the relief of obstruction the mean PFR.increased to 17.56 ± 5.74 ml/sec (p<0.001) at 3 months. The mean post-void residual urine (PVR) was 69.75 ± 53.17 ml at presentation and decreased to a mean of 6.820 ± 12.04 (p<0.001) at 3 months after surgery. The bladder wall thickness decreased from a mean of 5.63 ± 2.59 mm at presentation to 3.33 ± 1.38 mm (p<0.001) at 3 months after surgery. However, in 18 pa­tients (47.20%) it remained elevated at 3 months. After 6 months of operation bladder wall thickness remained el­evated only in 5(13.16%) patients. At presentation UEBW ranged from 40.1 gms to 220.20 gms (mean 87.46 ± 37.01 gms), and significantly decreased to a mean of 43.99 ± 28.08 gms after 3 months of relief of obstruction in 29 (76.31%) patients (p<0.001). The corresponding mean UEBW in control group was 29.28 ± 4.27 gms (p<0.001). Normal cut-off value in our study was 40 gms, which is 5 gins more than the cut-off value in studies by Kojima et al and Pal DK. [3],[4],[7] The substantially higher bladder weight in our study is probably due to delayed presentation of cases in our set-up. After 6 months, UEBW remained abnor­mally high in 5 cases and these cases on investigation re­vealed persistence of IVO.

At presentation blood flow in the anterior bladder wall was detected in 32 (84.21%) patients, while no flow was detected in 6 (15.79%) patients and 10 control cases. The mean R.I in BY (+) patients was 0.696 ± 0.08. After sur­gical relief of obstruction, blood flow was detected in 8 (21.05%) patients at 3 months and only in 5(13.10%) pa­tients at 6 months [Table - 1]. Re-evaluation of these cases revealed re-stricture formation and re-stenosis of external meatus.

   Discussion Top

The definitive pre-operative diagnosis of IVO will con­siderably help in formulating the treatment options and decrease the number of treatment failures significantly. [3] In the past, bladder hypertrophy resulting from IVO was evaluated from endoscopic and radiographic findings, such as trabecular formation, [8] but had the drawback of being invasive. Though AUA symptom index for BPH has high correlation with magnitude of urinary symptoms, but it lacks specificity. UFM though being a non-invasive tool has its shortcomings [9],[10],[11] and cannot as a single test distin­guish between IVO and impaired detrusor contractility. Although pressure flow study is the only method of know­ing the presence or absence of IVO, invasive nature of the procedure limits its routine application. [3] The recently pro­posed UEBW can quantitatively detect IVO with diagnostic accuracy of 86.2% and predict the reversibility of the blad­der hypertrophic changes. [4],[7] Batista et al [12] evaluated the blood flow in human bladder by using laser Doppler flowmetry and concluded that laser Doppler can be uti­lized in measuring the blood flow changes in human blad­der. Irwin and Gallowy, using laser Doppler in rabbits noted that weeks after reduction of outlet obstruction, blood flow decreased significantly. Dunn M [1] reported a signifi­cant reduction in bladder wall blood flow in rabbits fol­lowing decrease in intravesical pressure. Jermy et al [15] concluded from a study in rabbits that partial outlet ob­struction results in significant increase in blood flow which coincides with early cellular hyperplasia and hypertrophy.

In the present study, the UEBW reduced significantly and remained elevated only in 5 cases after 6 months of relief of obstruction. These cases on investigation revealed persistent obstruction. In l of these cases of meatal steno­sis, the UEBW initially decreased from 84.6 gms to 40 gms at 3 months but increased again to 70.6 gms at 6 months because of restenosis. These findings suggest that the UEBW not only helps in diagnosis of IVO, but in fol­low-up as well. These observations are in concordance with observations of Kojima et al and Pal DK. [3],[4]

The present study was designed on the assumption that blood perfusion in hypertrophied bladder wall increases and might decrease with the reduction of bladder weight. Bladder weight increases abnormally in patients with IVO as well as in neurogenic bladder. Naya Yashio [5] used color Doppler flow imaging to differentiate these two groups. Blood flow was detected in 83.3% of obstructed group compared to 23.5% of neurogenic bladder group. In this study the IVO was detected with a diagnostic accuracy of 80.0%. The percentage of BF (+) and BF (-) cases was 84.21% and 15.79% respectively. In our study significantly correlation was found between the blood flow and UEB W [Table - 2]. Out of 32 BF (+) cases pulsatile flow was de­tected in 26 (81.25%) with a mean RI of 0.696 ± 0.08. Three months after relief of obstruction as the bladder weight decreased, blood flow pattern also changed, and 30 cases (79.95%) became BF (-). Three of the remaining 8 cases became BF (-) by six months. Thus a total of 5 (13.16%) cases remained BF (+) at 6 months and these cases also had persistently elevated bladder weight and bladder wall thickness. These findings are in conformity with our presumption that the blood perfusion and UEBW increases with IVO and returns to normal after relief of obstruction. Thus blood flow evaluation by CDU might represent histopathological as well as functional changes of the bladder detrusor and could help in evaluating the pathophysiology of bladder hypertrophy and follow-up of the cases after surgical relief of obstruction.

   Conclusions Top

CDU is a simple, reliable, non-invasive and cost-effec­tive investigation, which may replace pressure flow studies in future. The status of blood flow as evaluated by CDU might represent the histopathological as well as functional changes of bladder detrusor. Consequently, combination of UEBW and CDU could be a promising investigating tool in evaluating the prediction of the pathophysiology of blad­der hypertrophy due to IVO.

   References Top

1.Dunn MA. Study of bladder blood flow during distention in rab­bits. Br J Urol 1974; 46: 67-72.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Finkbeiner A, Lapides J. Effects of distention on blood flow in dog's urinary bladder. Inves Urol 1974: 12: 210-212.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Kojima M, Inui E. Ochia A, Naya Y. Ukimura O. Watanaba H. Non-invasive quantitative estimation of infravesical obstruction us­ing ultrasonic measurement of bladder weight. J Urol 1997; 157: 476-497.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Pal DK. Ultrasonic estimated bladder weight : its role in assess­ment of infravesical obstruction: thesis submitted for M.Ch. Urol­ogy 1998.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Naya Yoshio. A possible use of color Doppler flow imaging in pre­dicting the cause of bladder hypertrophy. Tohoku J Exp Med 1997; 182: 139-150.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Kojima M. Inui E, Ochiai A, Naya Y, Ukimura O, Watanaba H. Reversible changes of bladder hypertrophy due to benign prostatic hyperplasia after surgical relief of obstruction. J Urol 1997; 158: 89-93.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Kojima M, Inui E, Ochiai A, Naya Y, Ukimura 0, Watanaba H. Ultrasonic estimation of the bladder weight as a measure of bladder hypertrophy in men with infravesical obstruction. A preliminary report. Urology 1996; 47: 942-947.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Walsh PC. Benign prostatic hyperplasia. In : Campbell's Urology, 6 th ed. Edited by PC Walsh, AB Retik, TA Stamey and ED Vaughan Jr. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1992: 25: 1007-1027.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Shoukry 1, Suset JG, Elhilali MM, Dutartre D. Role of UFM in assessment of lower urinary tract obstruction in adult males. Brit J Urol 1975: 47: 559.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Siroky MB, Olsson CA, Krane RJ. The flow rate nomogram. II. Clinical correlation. J Urol 1980; 128-208.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Gleason DM, Bottaccini MR, Drach GW, Layton TN. Urinary flow velocity as an index of male voiding function. J Urol 1982; 128: 1363.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Batista JE, Wagner JR, Azadozoi KM, Krane JR, Siroky MB. Di­rect measurement of blood flow in human bladder. J Urol 1996: 155(2): 630-3.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Irwin P, Galloway NT. Impaired blood flow in interstitial cystitis. A study of blood supply using laser Doppler flowmetry. J Urol 1993; 149: 890-2.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Lin AT. Chen MT, Yang CH. Chang LS. Blood flow of urinary bladder: Effect of outlet obstruction and correlation with bionergetic metabolism. Neuro Urol Urodyn 1995; 14: 285-292.  Back to cited text no. 14    
15.Jeremy IL. Kogan BA, Anurag KD. Annette S. Rabbit urinary blad­der blood flow changes during the initial stage of partial outlet ob­struction. J Urol 2000; 163(4): 44.  Back to cited text no. 15    


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4], [Figure - 5]

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2]


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