Bladder Filling and Storage: “Capacity”

  • Ariana L. SmithEmail author
  • Mary Y. Wang
  • Alan J. Wein


The goal of measuring bladder capacity is to estimate the volume of urine a patient typically stores before experiencing a desire to void. This measure gives the clinician an idea of whether urinary symptoms are due to diminished bladder capacity, increased fluid intake, or other causes. This information assists the clinician with selecting treatment and management strategies for the patient. Bladder capacity can be assessed in several different ways. Reliability of these measures depends on sound urodynamics technique and consistent patient instruction during testing. Interpreting measures of bladder capacity obtained during urodynamic testing is an important skill that involves understanding the limitations of these measures as well as common artifacts of the study. Several examples of interpretation for a variety of bladder conditions that impact cystometric capacity, cystometrogram tracings, and videofluoroscopic imaging of the bladder are discussed in this chapter.


Detrusor Overactivity Interstitial Cystitis Bladder Capacity Detrusor Pressure Bladder Filling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Haylen BT, de Ridder D, Freeman RM, Swift SE, Berghmans B, Lee J, Monga A, Petri E, Rizk DE, Sand PK, Schaer GN. An International Urogynecological Association (IUGA)/International Continence Society (ICS) joint report on the terminology for female pelvic floor dysfunction. Int Urogynecol J. 2009;21(1):5–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Amundsen CL, Parsons M, Tissot B, Cardozo L, Diokno A, Coats AC. Bladder diary measurements in asymptomatic females: functional bladder capacity, frequency, and 24-hr volume. Neurourol Urodyn. 2007;26(3):341–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berger RM, Maizels M, Moran GC, Conway JJ, Firlit CF. Bladder capacity (ounces) equals age (years) plus 2 predicts normal bladder capacity and aids in diagnosis of abnormal voiding patterns. J Urol. 1983;129(2):347–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zerin JM, Chen E, Ritchey ML, Bloom DA. Bladder capacity as measured at voiding cystourethrography in children—relationship to toilet training and frequency of micturition. Radiology. 1993;187:803.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hamano S, Yamanishi T, Igarashi T, Ito H, Murakami S. Functional bladder capacity as predictor of response to desmopressin and retention control training in monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis. Eur Urol. 2000;37(6):718–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bael AM, Lax H, Hirche H, Hjälmš K, Tamminen-Möbius T, Van Hoeck KM, van Gool JD. Reference ranges for cystographic bladder capacity in children—with special attention to vesicoureteral reflux. J Urol. 2006;176(4 Pt 1):1596–600. On behalf of the International Reflux Study in Children.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heesakkers JP, Vandoninck V, van Balken MR, Bemelmans BL. Bladder filing by autologous urine production during cystometry: a urodynamic pitfall! Neurourol Urodyn. 2003;22(3):243–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee SW, Kim JH. The significance of natural bladder filling by the production of urine during cystometry. Neurourol Urodyn. 2008;27(8):772–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Abrams P. Urodynamic technique. In: Abrams P, editor. Urodynamics. 3rd ed. London: Springer; 2006. p. 17–116.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wyndaele JJ. Normality in urodynamics studied in healthy adults. J Urol. 1999;161:899–902.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pauwels E, De Wachter S, Wyndaele JJ. Normality of bladder filling studied in symptom-free middle-aged women. J Urol. 2004;171(4):1567–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yoon E, Swift S. A comparison of maximum cystometric bladder capacity with maximum environmental voided volumes. Int Urogynecol J. 1998;9(2):78–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cass AS, Ward BD, Markland C. Comparison of slow and rapid fill cystometry using liquid and air. J Urol. 1970;104:104–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jensen JK. Urodynamic evaluation. In: Ostergard DR, Bent AE, editors. Urogynecology and urodynamics. 4th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1991. p. 116–21.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Klevmark B. Volume threshold for micturition. Influence of filling rate on sensory and motor bladder function. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2002;210:6–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Diokno AC, Wells TJ, Brink CA. Comparison of self-reported voided volume with cystometric bladder capacity. J Urol. 1987;137(4):698–700.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abrams PH, Cardozo L, Fall M, Griffiths D, Rosier P, Ulmsten U, Van Kerrebroeck PEV, Wein AJ. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Neurourol Urodyn. 2002;21:167–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Herbison P, Hay-Smith J, Ellis G, Moore K. Effectiveness of anticholinergic drugs compared with placebo in the treatment of overactive bladder: systematic review. BMJ. 2003;326(7394):841–4.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Smith CP, Radziszewski P, Borkowski A, Somogyi GT, Boone TB, Chancellor MB. Botulinum toxin a has antinociceptive effects in treating interstitial cystitis. Urology. 2004;64(5):871–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Johansen TE, Botto H, Cek M, Grabe M, Tenke P, Wagenlehner FM, Naber KG. Critical review of current definitions of urinary tract infections and proposal of an EAU/ESIU classification system. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2011;38(Supple):64–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Abrams P. Describing bladder storage function: overactive bladder syndrome and detrusor overactivity. Urology. 2003;62(5 Suppl 2):28–37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariana L. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary Y. Wang
    • 1
  • Alan J. Wein
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn Medicine Division of UrologyUniversity of Pennsylvania Health System, Perelman Center for Advanced MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations