What Imaging Strategies Are Effective for Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain Etiologies?
Lindley E. Folkerson, Adeola A. Kosoko
Abdominal pain is a common presenting complaint in the emergency department (ED). A thorough history, physical examination, and knowledge of current guidelines can help the clinician select the most accurate, appropriate diagnostic imaging. Separating the abdomen into quadrants is useful in understanding the common etiologies that lead to abdominal pain. Right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain generally derives from a hepatobiliary source, while epigastric and left upper quadrant (LUQ) most commonly are gastric, pancreatic, or associated with other etiologies. Lower abdominal pain, both on the right and left side, is associated most commonly with intestinal or genitourinary problems. By understanding the locations of abdominal pain in relation to differential diagnosis, the most accurate and clinically validated imaging modalities can be obtained.