Title

Abdominal Pain in the Emergency Department: How to Select the Correct Imaging for Diagnosis

Division

TriStar

Hospital

TriStar Skyline Medical Center

Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date

7-20-2022

Keywords

computed tomography, ultrasound, radiograph, appendicitis

Disciplines

Diagnosis | Emergency Medicine

Abstract

Abdominal pain is a common presenting complaint in the emergency department, and utilization of diagnostic imaging is often a key tool in determining its etiology. Plain radiography has limited utility in this population. Computed tomography (CT) is the imaging modality of choice for undifferentiated abdominal pain. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful in specific scenarios, primarily in pediatrics and pregnancy, and offer the benefit of eliminating ionizing radiation risk of CT. Guidance for imaging selection is determined by location of pain, special patient considerations, and specific suspected etiologies. Expert guidance is offered by the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria® which outlines imaging options based on location of pain.

Publisher or Conference

Open Access Emergency Medicine

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