) can be one of the
symptoms associated with transient disorders or serious disease. Making a definitive diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain can be difficult, because many diseases can result in this symptom. Abdominal pain is a common problem. Most frequently the cause is benign and/or self-limited, but more serious causes may require urgent intervention.
superior mesenteric artery syndrome, severe
sickle cell disease,
abdominal angina, blood vessel compression (such as celiac artery compression syndrome),
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
left renal vein entrapment
- Gynecological or obstetric
pelvic inflammatory disease
- *Mechanical: ovarian torsion
- *Pregnancy: ruptured
abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome (ACNES),
- *from the
ischemic heart disease,
- *from the
C1-esterase inhibitor deficiency, adrenal insufficiency,
black widow spider
abdominal aortic aneurysm
familial Mediterranean fever
irritable bowel syndrome (affecting up to 20% of the population, IBS is the most common cause of recurrent, intermittent abdominal pain)
Acute abdominal pain
Acute abdomen can be defined as severe, persistent abdominal pain of sudden onset that is likely to require
to treat its cause. The pain may frequently be associated with
fever and signs of
. One of the most common conditions associated with acute abdominal pain is acute
- Traumatic :
- * Infections such as
pelvic inflammatory disease,
mesenteric adenitis, or a subdiaphragmatic
peptic ulcer, a
, or the
- * Complications of
inflammatory bowel disease such as
Crohn's disease or
secondary to adhesions caused by previous surgeries,
hernias, benign or malignant
inflammatory bowel disease,
fecal impaction or
- Vascular : occlusive
, usually caused by
thromboembolism of the
superior mesenteric artery
Recurrent abdominal pain in children and adolescents
Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) occurs in 5???15% of children 6???19 years old. In a community-based study of middle and high school students, 13???17% had weekly abdominal pain. Using criteria for
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), 14% of high school students and 6% of middle school students fit the criteria for adult IBS. As with other difficult to diagnose chronic medical problems, patients with RAP account for a very large number of office visits and medical resources in proportion to their actual numbers. Most patients with RAP benefit from reassurance and techniques to manage anxiety and stress, which are frequently associated with episodes.
When a physician assesses a patient to determine the etiology and subsequent treatment for abdominal pain the patient's history of the presenting complaint and physical examination should derive a diagnosis in over 90% of cases.
It is important also for a physician to remember that abdominal pain can be caused by problems outside the abdomen, especially
heart attacks and
pneumonias which can occasionally present as abdominal pain.
Investigations that would aid diagnosis include
- Blood tests including full blood count,
creatinine, liver function tests,
pregnancy test and
- Imaging including erect chest
X-ray and plain films of the abdomen
electrocardiograph to rule out a heart attack which can occasionally present as abdominal pain
If diagnosis remains unclear after history, examination and basic investigations as above then more advanced investigations may reveal a diagnosis. These as such would include
Computed Tomography of the abdomen/pelvis
- Abdominal or pelvic
colonoscopy (not used for diagnosing acute pain)
- Apley J, Naish N: Recurrent abdominal pains: A field survey of 1,000 school children.
Arch Dis Child
1958;33:165 - 170.
Chronic Pelvic Pain and Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Female Adolescents
- Boyle JT, Hamel-Lambert J: Biopsychosocial issues in functional abdominal pain.
Stomach ache or abdominal pain can be misdiagnosed.Consult a Gastroenterologist rather than ER doctor if Pain persists more than a day.
Stomach Pain and Conditions.
This article is
licensed under the
GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Abdominal pain".
||Last Modified: 2010-12-02