The plain X-ray in the acute abdomen: a surgeon's evaluation

Br J Surg. 1976 Oct;63(10):763-6. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800631009.


The plain abdominal X-rays of 277 patients suffering from five acute abdominal conditions were reviewed and specific radiological features found to occur in not less than 48% of the cases. In a second series of 249 patients admitted to hospital with an acute abdomen due to all types of disease, the plain abdominal X-rays were helpful in 42% of cases. A questionnaire of 50 plain abdominal X-rays was answered by surgeons and radiologists of varying clinical experience, the scores of the senior radiologists being higher. It is suggested that plain abdominal X-rays should become a routine investigation in the acute abdomen, and should be reported by senior radiologists at the time of the investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / diagnostic imaging*
  • Appendicitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholecystitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Duodenal Ulcer / diagnostic imaging
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestine, Small / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography