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October, 2006
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Pain, Referred: A type of pain that is perceived in an area away from the site where the pain arises, such as facial pain caused by lesion of the Vagus nerve, or throat problem generating referred pain in the ear.

Abdominal Exam IV: Acute Abdominal Pain Assessment

JoVE 10120

Source: Joseph Donroe, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Abdominal pain is a frequent presenting concern in both the emergency department and the office setting. Acute abdominal pain is defined as pain lasting less than seven days, while an acute abdomen refers to the abrupt onset of severe abdominal pain with features suggesting a surgically intervenable process. The differential diagnosis of acute abdominal pain is broad; thus, clinicians must have a systematic method of examination guided by a careful history, remembering that pathology outside of the abdomen can also cause abdominal pain, including pulmonary, cardiac, rectal, and genital disorders. Terminology for describing the location of abdominal tenderness includes the right and left upper and lower quadrants, and the epigastric, umbilical, and hypogastric regions (Figures 1, 2). Thorough examination requires an organized approach involving inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation, with each maneuver performed purposefully and with a clear mental representation of the anatomy. Rather than palpating randomly across the abdomen, begin palpating remotely from the site of tenderness, moving systematically toward the tender region, and thi

 Physical Examinations II

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