Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 287, Issue 4, pp 647–651 | Cite as

The transverse section of the fetus urinary bladder is circular and, for volume estimation, an appropriate longitudinal section is sufficient

  • Mats Fagerquist
  • Eli Skytteren
  • Ulf Fagerquist
  • Anders Odén
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



The purpose was to investigate the transverse shape of the fetal urinary bladder.


Using 3D ultrasound, an appropriate longitudinal image of fetal urinary bladders was chosen. Perpendicular sections were examined and the transverse bladder image with a minimum of shadows was selected, documented and transferred to a PC. The contour of the transverse bladder image was marked manually and recorded electronically. The mean of radii distances from the centre pixel to each border pixel outlining this bladder image was calculated for each fetus.


In the material comprising 20 fetuses, the range of mean radii was 2.6–18.4 mm and the SD 0.4 mm. The mean wall thickness of the bladders was 2.7 mm and the distance represented by one pixel for different selected depths was 0.3 mm on average.


In view of the current technical limitations, an aberration from the circular shape may not be discernible. For this reason, the transverse shape of the fetal urinary bladder can be regarded as a circle. This means that, for bladder volume estimation, only an appropriate longitudinal section is necessary.


Fetus Urinary bladder Ultrasonography Organ volume Shape Measurement Reliability Reproducibility of results 



We wish to thank Sture G. Blomberg, MD, PhD, both for his enthusiasm and encouragement and for his valuable criticism.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mats Fagerquist
    • 1
  • Eli Skytteren
    • 1
  • Ulf Fagerquist
    • 2
  • Anders Odén
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Innlandet Hospital TrustKongsvinger HospitalKongsvingerNorway
  2. 2.Edutec Inc.LittletonUSA
  3. 3.Chalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

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