Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Bladder Distension and Cardiovascular Depression During Recovery from Epidural Anesthesia
  1. David Beardsworth, MD and
  2. Leonard J. Lind, MD
  1. From the Department of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts


Hypotension and bradycardia following conduction anesthesia is common, generally due to sympathetic blockade. Three cases of sudden profound cardiovascular depression during recovery from epidural anesthesia associated with marked distension of the urinary bladder are described. The suggested mechanisms include afferent atimulation from bladder distension and efferent reflex loss of peripheral resistance, decreased venous pressure, and bradycardia. The key to restoration of autonomic balance is bladder drainage. Adjunctive therapy should include augmentation of venous return by position change, and administration of anticholinergics, vasopressors, and fluids.

  • Epidural anesthesia
  • postoperative hypotension
  • vasodepressor syncopy
  • biadder distension
  • complications of regional anesthesia

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.