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Post-void residual volume in labor: a prospective study comparing parturients with and without epidural analgesia

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This prospective, non-randomized study compared post-void residual volume in laboring and postpartum women with or without epidural analgesia. Methods: 

The study was conducted over 1 year with institutional review board approval. Parturients were recruited in early labor and self-selected to either the study (with epidural) or control (without epidural) group. Post-void residual volume was compared between groups, using transabdominal ultrasound during labor, and on postpartum day 1 and 2. Main outcome measure was intrapartum residual bladder volume. Results: 

Thirty patients were recruited to each group. During labor, residual bladder volume was significantly larger in the epidural group compared with the non-epidural group [median (range)] 240 (12–640), ml vs. 45 (13–250) ml, respectively, P < 0.001], but was similar on postpartum day 1 and 2. Twenty-five (83%) women with epidural analgesia required bladder catheterization during labor vs. one (3.3%) without (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: 

The greater post-void residual volume and increased inability to void in parturients with epidurals suggests that epidural analgesia plays a role in intrapartum urinary retention.
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Keywords: epidural; labor; residual volume; urinary retention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Medical School 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel 3: Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Publication date: 2006-11-01

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