What is the role of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of abdominal abscess?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Alan A Saber, MD, MS, FACS, FASMBS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Ultrasonography is readily available, portable, and inexpensive. The findings can be quite specific when correlated with the clinical picture. In experienced hands, ultrasonography has an accuracy rate greater than 90% for diagnosing intra-abdominal abscesses. Bedside ultrasonography is particularly useful for immobile, critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

A drawback of ultrasonography is that marked obesity, bowel gas, intervening viscera, surgical dressings, open wounds, and stomas can create problems with definition. In addition, the quality of the procedure is operator-dependent. These disadvantages may limit the efficacy of this modality in postoperative patients.


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