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What does residual urine in the bladder indicate?

Q: I am a 53 years old man who has undergone medical check up recently in which 20 ml residual urine was noticed in the bladder after passing urine. Is it normal? What are the precautions to be taken? Do I need to consult a urologist for further guidance?

A:Residual urine has little correlation to the bladder function. Volumes up to 100 ml may be of no significance at all. Even larger volumes need to be re-confirmed on a repeat scan, as bladders during ultrasonography are made to over distend, and evacuated in haste in unnatural surroundings. Large residual volumes may be found in absence of bladder outlet obstruction or its symptoms, while absence of residual urine is no guarantee of a non-obstructed outlet. Residual urine may become an important parameter when read in association with clinical presentation and other findings.

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