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Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture

. of the organs and other structures in the upper abdomen
Occasionally a specialized ultrasound is ordered
, for a detailed evaluation of a specific organ
. such as a kidney ultrasound
:An abdominal ultrasound can evaluate the

aorta Abdominal which is the large blood vessel,

that passes down the( artery)
. back of the chest and abdomen
The aorta supplies blood to the lower part of the body and the legs
. the lower part of the body and the legs
which is a large dome-shaped organ that lies under the rib cage on, Liver
. the right side of the abdomen
, The liver produces bile )a substance that helps digest fat(
. stores sugars, and breaks down many of the body's waste products
. Gallbladder, which is a saclike organ beneath the liver
,The gallbladder stores bile. When food is eaten, the gallbladder contracts
. sending bile into the intestine

which is the soft, round organ that helps fight infection, Spleen
,and filters old red blood cells. The spleen is located to the left of the stomach
.just behind the lower left ribs
which is the gland located in, Pancreas
the upper abdomen
. that produces enzymes that help digest food
. The digestive enzymes are then released into the intestines
; The pancreas also releases insulin into the bloodstream
.insulin helps the body utilize sugars for energy

Kidneys, which are the pair of bean-shaped organs located behind

the upper abdominal cavity.
The kidneys remove wastes from
the blood and produce urine.

A pelvic ultrasound evaluates

the structures and organs in
the lower abdominal area
Why It Is Done
Abdominal ultrasound is done to:

.Determine the cause of abdominal pain

. Detect, measure, or monitor an aneurysm in the aorta
. An aneurysm may cause a large, pulsing lump in the abdomen
. Evaluate the size, shape, and position of the liver
,An ultrasound may be done to evaluate jaundice and other problems of the liver
,including liver masses, cirrhosis, fat deposits in the liver )called fatty liver(
.or abnormal liver function tests

Detect gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder )cholecystitis(,

or blocked bile ducts. See an illustration of a gallstone

Determine the size of an enlarged spleen and

look for damage or disease.
Detect problems with the pancreas, such as pancreatitis
or pancreatic cancer.
Determine the cause of blocked urine flow in a kidney.
A kidney ultrasound may also be done to determine
the size of the kidneys,
detect kidney masses, detect fluid surrounding the kidneys,
investigate causes for recurring urinary tract infections,
or evaluate the condition of transplanted kidneys.

Abdominal ultrasound is also done

Determine the condition of the abdominal organs
after an accident or abdominal injury and look for
blood in the abdominal cavity. However,
computed tomography )CT( scanning is more
commonly used for this purpose because it is
. more precise than abdominal ultrasound
Guide the placement of a needle or other
. biopsy instrument during a
Detect fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity
)ascites(. An ultrasound also may be done to
guide the needle during a procedure to remove
(. paracentesis )fluid from the abdominal cavity

How It Is Done
This test is done by a doctor who specializes in
performing and interpreting imaging tests )
radiologist( or by an ultrasound technologist
)sonographer(. It is done in an ultrasound room
.in a hospital or doctor's office
You will need to remove any jewelry that might
interfere with the ultrasound scan. You will need
to take off all or most of your clothes, depending
on which area is examined )you may be allowed
to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere
with the test(. You will be given a cloth or paper
.covering to use during the test

.You will lie on your back )or on your side( on a padded examination table
. Gel will be spread on your abdomen to improve the quality of the sound waves

The transducer is pressed against your abdomen and moved back and forth over i
.A picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video monitor
. You may be asked to change positions so additional scans can be made
.For a kidney ultrasound, you may be asked to lie on your stomach
. You need to lie very still while the ultrasound scan is being done
You may be asked to take a breath and hold it
. Abdominal ultrasound usually takes 30 to 60 minutes
. You may be asked to wait until the radiologist has reviewed the information
The radiologist may want to do additional ultrasound
.views of some areas of your abdomen

An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the
.organs and other structures in the abdomen

Abdominal ultrasound
Normal: The size and shape of the abdominal organs appear normal.
The liver, spleen, and pancreas appear normal in size and
texture. No abnormal growths are seen. No fluid is found in the
The diameter of the aorta is normal and no aneurysms are seen.
The thickness of the gallbladder wall is normal.
The size of the bile ducts between the gallbladder and the small
intestine are normal. No gallstones are seen.
The kidneys appear as sharply outlined bean-shaped organs. No
kidney stones are seen.
Abnorm An organ may appear abnormal because of inflammation,
or other diseases. An organ may be smaller than normal because
of an old injury or past inflammation.
An organ may be pushed out of its normal location because of an
abnormal growth pressing against it.
An abnormal growth )such a tumor( may be seen in an organ.
Fluid in the abdominal cavity )ascites( may be seen.
The aorta is enlarged, or an aneurysm is seen.

The liver may appear abnormal, which may indicate liver disease )such as
cirrhosis or cancer(.
The walls of the gallbladder may be thickened, or fluid may be present around
the gallbladder,
which may indicate inflammation. The bile ducts may be enlarged because of
blockage )from a gallstone or an abnormal growth in the pancreas(. Gallstones
may be seen inside the gallbladder.
The kidneys may be enlarged because of urine that is not draining properly
through the ureters. Kidney stones are seen within the kidneys )not all stones
can be seen with ultrasound(.
An area of infection )abscess( or a fluid-filled cyst may appear as a round,
hollow structure inside an organ. The spleen may be ruptured )if an injury to the
abdomen has occurred(.

An area of infection )abscess( or a fluid-filled cyst may appear as a round,

hollow structure inside an organ. The spleen may be ruptured )if an injury to the
abdomen has occurred(.

What Affects the Test

Factors that can interfere with your test and the accuracy of the results include:
Stool, air )or other gas(, or contrast material )such as barium( in the stomach or
The inability to remain still during the test.
Extreme obesity.
Having an open wound in the area being viewed