Normal abdominal x-ray

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones


Generalised abdominal pain for 24 hours and more recent onset of vomiting. Previous surgical history includes laparoscopic sterilisation 12 months previously.

Patient Data

Age: 33
Gender: Female

Sterilisation clips demonstrated in the pelvis. Normal outlines of solid organs - the liver has a prominent lower margin (normal variant - Riedel's lobe). Normal bowel gas pattern. Faeces in ascending colon.

No evidence of obstruction or perforation.

Annotated image

The liver and spleen are seen in the upper abdomen (coloured blue). The liver extends quite low in the abdomen, but this can be a normal variant (Riedel's lobe). The liver doesn't usually extend below the lower pole of the right kidney.

Both kidneys can also be demonstrated (yellow) and are held away from the spine by the psoas muscle.

The right colon (ascending colon) is filled with faeces, but can be traced over the midline to the splenic flexure and then down the left flank towards the pelvis.

Case Discussion

The cause of the patient's symptoms are not demonstrated on this plain film. The bowel gas pattern is normal and there is no evidence of obstruction or perforation.

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Case information

rID: 34067
Published: 3rd Feb 2015
Last edited: 7th Nov 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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