Causes of left flank pain

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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

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mugilan Poongkunran M.B.B.S [2]


Left flank pain refers to pain that is located below the ribs and above the pelvis and on the left side. Flank pain is often a sign of kidney problems, but it can also point to other pathologies arising from descending colon, small intestine, peritoneum, abdominal muscles and on rare occasion pancreas. Women experience flank pain more commonly than men because of increased risk of urinary tract infections.


Life Threatening Causes

Life-threatening causes include conditions which may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated.

Causes of left flank pain developed by

Common Causes

Causes of left flank pain developed by

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture, ischemic colitis, malignant hypertension, mesenteric artery ischemia, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary infarction, renal artery dissection, renal artery embolism, renal infarction, renal vein thrombosis, rheumatoid vasculitis, splenic artery embolization, splenic infarction, systemic vasculitis
Chemical/Poisoning Aluminum toxicity, arsenic poisoning, cadmium toxicity, chromium poisoning, copper poisoning, ecstasy overdose, ethylene glycol poisoning, food poisoning, gold, heavy metals, iron poisoning, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, methanol, organophosphate poisoning, silver poisoning, toxic mushrooms
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic Scarlet fever, scleroderma, shingles
Drug Side Effect Aspirin, contrast agents, bleomycin, chemotherapeutic agents, cisplatin, colchicine, cyclosporin, diclofenac, fentanyl toxicity, ibuprofen, indomethacin, malignant hyperthermia, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, metronidazole, naproxen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pentamidine, Reye's syndrome, salicylates, statin, steroid abuse, sulindac, tetracycline, thrombolytic therapy, tramadol toxicity, vitamin D toxicity, warfarin
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Addisonian crisis, adrenal hemorrhage, carcinoid, diabetic ketoacidosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1
Environmental Organophosphate poisoning
Gastroenterologic Abdominal compartment syndrome, acute diverticulitis, acute pancreatitis, chronic constipation, collagenous colitis, colon cancer, colonic lymphoma, congestive splenomegaly, Crohn's disease, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, familial adenomatous polyposis, gastroenteritis, gout, hepatorenal syndrome, intestinal pseudo-obstruction, intussusception, irritable bowel syndrome, ischemic colitis, malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, milk-alkali syndrome, perforated gastric ulcer, peritonitis, polycystic kidney disease, porphyria, scarlet fever, scleroderma, splenic abscess, splenic infarction, subphrenic abscess, traumatic splenic rupture, ulcerative colitis, visceral hamartoma, visceral hemangioma, volvulus, wandering spleen syndrome
Genetic Colon atresia, cystinuria, Dent's disease, familial adenomatous polyposis, homocystinuria, Meckel syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, porphyria, primary hyperoxaluria, sickle cell anemia, tuberous sclerosis, Von Hippel-Lindau Disease, WAGR syndrome, Williams syndrome
Hematologic Antiphospholipid syndrome, lymphoma, porphyria, sickle cell anemia
Iatrogenic Cystometry, dialysis, exercise, intra abdominal adhesions, pelvic surgery, percutaneous renal biopsy, radiation therapy, referred pain, splenic artery embolization, vitamin D toxicity
Infectious Disease Fungal bezoars, gastroenteritis, HIV, inflammatory pleural effusions, intestinal worm infestation, mediterranean spotted fever, miliary tuberculosis, mycobacterium avium complex, perinephric abscess, peritonitis, pneumonia, post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, renal abscess, renal mucormycosis, renal tuberculosis, retroperitoneal abscess, shingles, splenic abscess, urinary tract infection, urosepsis, viral hemorrhagic fevers
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic Abdominal muscle spasm, abdominal muscle strain, abdominal muscle tear, disc disease, gout, referred pain from back, spinal arthritis
Nutritional/Metabolic Carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome, cystinuria, homocystinuria, hyperuricaemia, oxalosis
Obstetric/Gynecologic Eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, gestational trophoblastic disease, ovarian torsion, pelvic inflammatory disease
Oncologic Colon cancer, colonic lymphoma, familial adenomatous polyposis, malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, renal angiosarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, tuberous sclerosis, tumor lysis syndrome, visceral hamartoma, visceral hemangioma, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, WAGR syndrome, Wilms' tumor
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity Cocaine overdose, contrast agents, fentanyl toxicity, steroid abuse, tramadol toxicity
Psychiatric Intestinal pseudo-obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome
Pulmonary Empyema, inflammatory pleural effusions, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary infarction, systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener's granulomatosis
Renal/Electrolyte Acute kidney injury, Alport syndrome, cystinuria, Dent's disease, Denys-Drash syndrome, Goodpasture syndrome, homocystinuria, loin pain hematuria syndrome, Meckel syndrome, medullary cystic kidney disease, megaureter, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, myoglobinuria, nephrocalcinosis, neurogenic bladder, oxalosis, perinephric abscess, polycystic kidney disease, post renal transplantation, post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, posterior urethral valves, pyelonephritis, reflux nephropathy, renal angiosarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, renal mucormycosis, renal papillary necrosis, renal thromboembolism, renal tuberculosis, renal tubular acidosis, ureterocele , retroperitoneal fibrosis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, tuberous sclerosis, tubulointerstitial nephritis, Turner syndrome, ureteral strictures, urinary outflow obstruction, urinary tract infection, vesicoureteral reflux, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, WAGR syndrome, Wegener's granulomatosis, Weil syndrome, Williams syndrome, Wilms tumor, xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Allergic gastroenteropathy, Crohn's disease, Ormond's disease, paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria, post renal transplantation, poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis, Reye's syndrome, rheumatoid vasculitis, scarlet fever, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis, ulcerative colitis, Wegener's granulomatosis
Sexual Denys-Drash syndrome, Turner syndrome
Trauma Abdominal muscle strain, abdominal muscle tear, disc prolapse, electrical burns, radiculitis, rib fractures, traumatic splenic rupture
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Chronic constipation, idiopathic, splenosis

Causes of left flank pain developed by

Causes in Alphabetical Order

Causes of left flank pain developed by



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