Abdominal pain classification

Jump to navigation Jump to search

File:Critical Pathways.gif

Abdominal pain Microchapters


Patient Information





Diffuse Abdominal Pain
Left Upper Quadrant
Left Flank
Left Lower Quadrant
Epigastric Quadrant
Umbilical Region
Pelvic Region
Right Upper Quadrant
Right Flank
Right Lower Quadrant

Differentiating Abdominal pain from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


X Ray


Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Abdominal pain On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides

Google Images

American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Abdominal pain

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Abdominal pain

CDC on Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain in the news

Blogs on Abdominal pain

Directions to Hospitals Treating Abdominal pain

Risk calculators and risk factors for Abdominal pain

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Abdominal pain can be classified into three categories: acute abdomen, recurrent, and chronic functional. Abdominal pain is traditionally described by its chronicity (acute or chronic), progression over time, nature (sharp, dull, colicky), characterization of the factors that worsen or alleviate pain, and distribution of the pain.


Acute Abdomen

Acute abdomen refers to a sudden, severe pain in the abdomen that is less than 24 hours in duration. It is in many cases an emergency condition requiring urgent and specific diagnosis, and the treatment usually involves surgery.


Acute abdomen is occasionally used synonymously with peritonitis. This is not incorrect; however, peritonitis is the more specific term, referring to inflammation of the peritoneum. It is diagnosed on physical examination as rebound tenderness, or pain upon removal of pressure rather than application of pressure to the abdomen. Peritonitis may result from several diseases, notably appendicitis and pancreatitis.

Ischemic Acute Abdomen

Vascular disorders are more likely to affect the small bowel than the large bowel. Arterial supply to the intestines is provided by the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries, SMA and IMA respectively, both of which are direct branches of the aorta.

Recurrent Abdominal Pain

As with other difficult to diagnose chronic medical problems, patients with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) account for a very large number of office visits and medical resources in proportion to their actual numbers. RAP can be classified under the Rome II criteria as one of the following:[1]

Chronic Fuctional Abdominal Pain

Chronic functional abdominal pain (CFAP) is the ongoing presence of abdominal pain for which there is no known medical explanation.


  1. Bufler P, Gross M, Uhlig HH (2011). "Recurrent abdominal pain in childhood". Dtsch Arztebl Int. 108 (17): 295–304. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2011.0295. PMC 3103980. PMID 21629513.


Template:WikiDoc Sources