2. Bladder Anatomy

Bladder Anatomy

When starting to learn bladder ultrasound, figuring out the shape of the bladder can be confusing. Keep in mind that the shape of the bladder varies greatly depending on anatomical differences and how full the bladder is. Though it can be easy to think of the bladder as spherical in shape, in actuality it most often represents a shape of a triangular prism, cylinder (ellipsoid), or cuboid.

Bladder Volume Triangular Prism
Bladder Shape-Triangular Prism
Bladder Volume Cylinder Ellipsoid
Bladder Shape-Cylinder (Ellipsoid)
Bladder Volume Cuboid
Bladder Shape-Cuboid

In addition to the bladder itself, it is also important to understand the surrounding structures including the pubic bone, abdominal cavity and rectum. The uterus and prostate are also important landmarks for females and males respectively.

Female Bladder Anatomy
Male Bladder Anatomy

The ureters enter the top of the bladder but do not release urine until they reach the trigone of the bladder located inferiorly. This is important to know when you are evaluating “ureteral jets” on ultrasound.

Bladder/Ureter/Trigone Anatomy