Imaging of Acute Right Lower Quadrant Abdominal Pain: Differential Diagnoses Beyond Appendicitis

Emerg Radiol. 2012 Jan;19(1):61-73. doi: 10.1007/s10140-011-0997-9. Epub 2011 Nov 10.


Evaluation of acute right lower quadrant pain remains a common and challenging clinical scenario for emergency medicine physicians due to frequent nonspecific signs, symptoms, and physical examination findings. Therefore, imaging has evolved to play a pivotal role in the emergency setting. While appendicitis is a common cause for acute pain, there are numerous other important differential considerations with which the radiologist must be aware. The purpose of this review is to list an anatomy-based, encompassing differential diagnosis in addition to acute appendicitis for right lower quadrant pain; demonstrate the key imaging findings of numerous differential considerations; and describe helpful imaging and clinical features useful in narrowing the differential diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis*
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans