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Abdominal Pain in Adults (cont.)

Radiology Tests

Radiology studies of the patient's abdomen can be useful, but are not always necessary or helpful.

  • Occasionally, an X-ray will show air outside of the bowel, meaning that something has ruptured or perforated.
  • An X-ray also can help diagnose bowel obstruction.
  • Sometimes X-rays can show a kidney stone.

Ultrasound is a painless procedure useful in finding some causes of abdominal pain.

  • This may be done if the health care professional suspects problems with the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, or the reproductive organs of women.
  • Ultrasound also assists in the diagnosis of problems with the kidneys and the spleen, or the large blood vessels that come from the heart and supplies blood to the lower half of the body.

CT scan is a special type of x-ray that provides useful information about the liver, pancreas, kidneys and ureters, spleen, and small and large intestine, including diseases such as appendicitis and diverticulitis.

You and your health care professional should discuss the diagnostic needs for an X-ray, and the potential radiation exposure before proceeding with any X-ray examination.

The health care professional may perform no tests at all. The cause of the patient's pain may be clear without any tests and may be known not to be serious. If the patient does undergo tests, the professional should explain the results to them.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Abdominal Angina »

Although Schnitzler first described the clinical picture of postprandial clinical pain in 1901, the syndrome of postprandial abdominal angina generally is attributed to Baccelli or Goodman (1918).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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