Acute Abdomen

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Acute Abdomen


a pathological condition within the abdominal cavity that accompanies serious destructive, degenerative diseases and traumas of the abdominal organs.

Acute abdomen is characterized by sudden, sharp pains in the abdomen, tension of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, and irritation of the peritoneum. It arises in conjunction with many abnormal processes, including acute appendicitis, intestinal obstructions, and perforating gastric ulcers, as well as with strangulated hernias, acute cholecystitis, acute pancreatitis, and thrombosis of the intestinal vessels. It can also accompany the rupture of organs, including the rupture of the ovaries and fallopian tubes in extrauterine pregnancy. Pain associated with acute abdomen is usually accompanied by restless behavior of the patient in bed and by pallor, cold sweat, vomiting, and fecal retention. The pulse rate and respiration become accelerated. Roentgenoscopy of the abdominal cavity can reveal symptoms of a perforating ulcer or of an intestinal obstruction; diseases of the pancreas can be confirmed by blood counts and urinalysis.

A patient with acute abdomen must be immediately admitted to a surgical hospital and placed under a doctor’s care. Before hospitalization, the patient should neither eat nor drink; any analgesics, narcotics, antibiotics, laxatives, or enemas are also contraindicated. Cold compresses on the abdomen are permitted. When reflex reactions in conditions such as renal colic, pneumonia, and myocardial infarction produce a syndrome that resembles acute abdomen, the patient should be hospitalized to receive antispasmodic therapy and Novocain blockades, and the contents of the intestines should be removed. In the majority of cases of acute abdomen, emergency surgical intervention is indicated.


Komarov, F. I., V. A. Lisovskii, and V. G. Borisov. Ostryi zhivot i zheludochno-kishechnye krovotecheniia v praktike terapevta i khirurga. Leningrad, 1971.
Simonian, K. S. Peritonit. Moscow, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
Only those patients were included who presented as acute abdomen with intestinal obstruction, had to undergo exploratory laparotomy and had their diagnosis confirmed on tissue histopathology.
Patients who received urgent surgical treatment for acute abdomen were reviewed.
Acute abdomen as an atypical presentation of meningococcal septicaemia.
In this article, a 16-year old boy with testicular tumor rupture who presented with findings of acute abdomen was presented in the ligth of the literature.
Cope's Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen, 16th Edition, Oxford University Press, 1983.
We retrospectively reviewed data from 1,363 patients who presented in the emergency room with acute abdomen and underwent surgical intervention for a simple or complicated appendicitis at Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital from March 2010 to July 2014.
Konan, "Spontaneous uterine perforation due to pyometra presenting as acute abdomen," International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, vol.
A contribution to differential acute abdomen diagnosis," Helvetica Chirurgica Acta, vol.
Detailed clinical evaluation with a high degree of suspicion is required in patients presenting with an acute abdomen, especially when other Mullerian/mesonephric duct abnormalities are present.
4) Symptoms typically include intermittent left upper quadrant pain due to ischemia in torsed splenules, but they can progress to an acute abdomen in more severe cases.
The acute abdomen which may require emergent surgery has rebound tenderness, rigidity, and voluntary guarding.