Abdominal radiology for students (curriculum)

Last revised by Jeremy Jones on 5 Jan 2019
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Abdominal radiology curriculum for medical students is broadly split into content that refers to imaging (the test and findings) and conditions that are considered key for this stage of training.

Some non-abdominal conditions are included in this portion of the curriculum, including breast disease and vascular since they are managed by a predominantly surgical route.

It important to be aware of:


  • erect CXR
    • performed to exclude perforation
  • AXR
    • first line imaging in some centers for potential obstruction
  • US abdomen
    • great for the biliary tree and renal tract
    • first line imaging investigation for deranged renal or liver function
    • ideally the patient to be fasted for 4 hours
  • US renal
    • assessment of the renal tract (kidneys and bladder) only
    • requires the patient to have a full bladder
  • CT abdomen
    • high-dose examination
    • usually performed with IV contrast
    • high sensitivity for perforation and obstruction
    • find the cause of obstruction
    • excellent for assessment of intra-abdominal infection/inflammation
    • mass detection and characterization

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: intraperitoneal fluid
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: sigmoid volvulus
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  • Case 3: pneumoperitoneum
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