Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment) (cont.)

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What are the methods used to diagnose abdominal pain?

The key to diagnosing abdominal pain is to identify the underlying cause of the pain. To reiterate, the patient's history and physical exam will help to narrow the choices and further tests to get a preliminary or even final diagnosis.

Blood tests to look for signs of infection, liver, and renal problems are usually ordered.

Depending on the possible causes, other tests such as a chest and/or abdominal X-ray(s), EKG, D-dimer, or pregnancy test may be ordered. Often, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis also is ordered or a sonogram is ordered. Although these tests often identify the cause, sometimes they do not.

Other studies, usually done by appointment and often in consultation with a specialist, may include an MRI, barium X-rays (upper and lower), various types of endoscopic procedures and biopsy of tissues. Infrequently, a surgeon may need to examine the abdominal cavity with a laparoscope or open the abdomen surgically.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2013

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