Assessing Abdominal Pain in Adults: A Rational, Cost-Effective, and Evidence-Based Strategy | Digest
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Assessing Abdominal Pain in Adults: A Rational, Cost-Effective, and Evidence-Based Strategy

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Points and Pearls Excerpt

  • Be wary of early diagnostic closure and misdiagnosis of abdominal pain; there are many abdominal and extra-abdominal mimics of dangerous etiologies.
  • The elderly, the immunocompromised, women of childbearing age, and patients with prior abdominal surgeries are at a higher risk for misdiagnosis.
  • The peritoneum becomes less sensitive with age, and peritonitis can be a late or absent finding.
  • Elderly patients can present without fever, leukocytosis, or abdominal tenderness but still have surgical abdominal pathology.
  • Consider diagnostic imaging in all geriatric patients presenting with abdominal pain.
  • Do not forget the pelvic exam, testicular exam, and rectal exam as part of your physical examination, when appropriate.

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Publication Information
Authors

Stephen Colucciello, MD, FACEP

Peer Reviewed By

Todd Taylor, MD; Nadia Maria Shaukat, MD, RDMS, FACEP

Publication Date

June 1, 2019

CME Expiration Date

July 1, 2022

Pub Med ID: 31124641

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