Ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis

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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]

Planning

Choice of exam

For patients presenting with symptoms that are less specific for any certain organ, such as unspecific acute abdominal pain, consider an abdominal/pelvic CT instead.

At least 6 hours of fasting[notes 2]

Unless all the target structures are known to be superficial to any intestines.

Locations

General screening

Upper abdomen

For symptoms of the upper abdomen, it is a proper custom to perform a general screening of the following locations:

Maximum length of the spleen.

Also, it is generally easy to have a quick glance at the kidneys just to exclude hydronephrosis.
In case of suspected pathology, see: Ultrasonography of the urinary system

Report

Example in a normal case:
Gallbladder with thin wall and no gallstones. Normal width of the intra-and extrahepatic bile ducts.
Liver with normal echogenicity and no focal lesions.
Normal head and body of the pancreas.
Normally sized spleen.

See also: General notes on reporting

Lower abdomen

Ultrasonographies of the lower abdomen can generally be focused on the condition requested in the referral.

Diseases and conditions

Biliary tract

Appendicitis

Aneurysm

Cirrhosis

Epigastric bulding

Notes

  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Radlines:Authorship for details.
  2. Otherwise high risk of intestines obscuring the organ of interest.
    - NU Hospital Group, Sweden

References

  1. Hoeffel, Christine; Azizi, Louisa; Lewin, Maité; Laurent, Valérie; Aubé, Christophe; Arrivé, Lionel; Tubiana, Jean-Michel (2006). "Normal and Pathologic Features of the Postoperative Biliary Tract at 3D MR Cholangiopancreatography and MR Imaging ". RadioGraphics 26 (6): 1603–1620. doi:10.1148/rg.266055730. ISSN 0271-5333.