Purpose: To evaluate the imaging characteristics and the diagnostic value of both abdominal ultrasound and conventional abdominal x-ray in identifying ingested drug packages in "body packers."
Materials and methods: Twelve individuals were studied prospectively by abdominal ultrasound and by abdominal x-ray to rule out incorporated drug containers.
Results: Both abdominal ultrasound and abdominal x-ray correctly identified the 7 of 12 individuals who had ingested multiple drug packages. In 5 of the 12 individuals, ultrasound as well as abdominal x-ray were correctly unremarkable with regard to abdominal foreign bodies.
Conclusions: Abdominal ultrasound and abdominal x-ray both represent valuable diagnostic tools in the assessment of ingested drug packages. Abdominal x-ray is superior to ultrasound in differentiating ingested drug-filled condoms from "pseudocondoms."