Turner White CommunicationsAbout TWCSubscribeContact TWCHomeSearch
Hospital PhysicianJCOMSMPBRMsCart
Current Contents
Past Issue Archives
Interactive:
Self-Assessment Questions
Review of
Clinical Signs
Clinical Review
Quiz
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Article Archives
Case Reports
Clinical Practice
Exams
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Review of
Clinical Signs

Guide to Reading
Hospital Physician
Editorial Board
Information for Authors

Reprints, Permissions, & Copyright
Site Map
Self-Assessment Questions

Emergency Medicine

Answer 4
  1. Abdominal radiographs are most useful in the diagnosis of intestinal obstruction. Plain film abdominal radiographs are often ordered for the wrong reason. The only clinical entities for which the sensitivity of abdominal radiographs approaches 100% are bowel obstruction and free intraperitoneal air. One large study demonstrated little value in using abdominal radiographs for patients with suspected appendicitis, nonspecific abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal bleeding and biliary colic.6 An upright chest radiograph can detect as little as 1 mL of free air and is superior to an upright abdominal radiograph in detecting free air. Newer imaging studies such as ultrasonography and computed tomography play a role in the diagnosis of acute abdominal pain when ordered appropriately.

    REFERENCE
    6.
     Campbell JP, Gunn AA: Plain abdominal radiographs and acute abdominal pain. Br J Surg 1988;75:554556.

Click here to return to the questions

 

Hospital Physician     JCOM     Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
About TWC    Subscribe    Contact TWC    Home    Search   Site Map

Copyright © 2009, Turner White Communications
Updated 1/04/08 • kkj