Abdominal Imaging for Medical Students

Abdominal imaging deals with the imaging, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the abdomen and pelvis. Body radiologists perform a broad range of interventional procedures under CT or ultrasound-guidance, including solid organ biopsies and aspirations. Commonly associated diagnoses include hepatobiliary disease, trauma, malignancies, and organ transplantation. The body imaging subspecialty works closely with internal medicine, multiple surgical specialties, gynecology, and other clinical services.

Goals and objectives

  • What are the Six (6) Important Things you should search for when interpreting an abdominal radiograph
  • Recognize abdominal organs on cross sectional imaging studies
  • Recognize the correct and incorrect positioning of feeding tubes
  • Recognize free intra-abdominal air on plain film and describe how patient positioning may affect sensitivity for its detection
  • What is 'Rigler's Sign' on an abdominal radiograph?
  • Differentiate between dilated small bowel and large bowel on plain film
  • Describe how Gas may be used as a Contrast with an abdominal radiograph
  • Consider how imaging can be used, and abused, for common diagnostic scenarios including: renal colic, suspected appendicitis, hematuria, right upper quadrant pain, pancreatitis, suspected small bowel obstruction, suspected diverticulitis, pelvic pain in a woman