Intraperitoneal Urinary Bladder Perforation with Pneumoperitoneum in Association with Indwelling Foley Catheter Diagnosed in Emergency Department

Chenyang Zhan, Pedro P. Maria, R. Joshua Dym

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background Indwelling Foley catheter is a rare cause of urinary bladder perforation, a serious injury with high mortality that demands accurate and prompt diagnosis. While the gold standard for diagnosis of bladder injury is computed tomography (CT) cystography, few bladder ruptures associated with Foley catheter have been reported to be diagnosed in the emergency department (ED). Case Report An 83-year-old man with indwelling Foley catheter presented to the ED for hematuria and altered mental status. He was diagnosed to have intraperitoneal rupture of the urinary bladder in the ED using abdominal and pelvic CT without contrast, which demonstrated bladder wall discontinuity, intraperitoneal free fluid, and pneumoperitoneum. The patient was treated successfully with medical management and bladder drainage. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? To our knowledge, this is the first report of intraperitoneal urinary bladder perforation associated with Foley catheter diagnosed in the ED by CT without contrast. Pneumoperitoneum found in this case was a clue to the diagnosis and is a benign finding that does not necessitate urgent surgical intervention. The early and accurate diagnosis in this case allowed for effective management with good clinical outcome. The use of indwelling Foley catheter has a high prevalence, especially in long-term care facility residents, who are frequent visitors in the ED. Therefore, emergency physicians and radiologists should be familiar with the presentation and imaging findings of this potential injury associated with Foley catheters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e93-e96
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017



  • bladder perforation
  • Foley catheter
  • pneumoperitoneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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