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Acute Abdominal Pain

  • Mark H. Flasar
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

    Veterans Affairs, Maryland Health Care System, 10 North Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Raymond Cross
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

    Veterans Affairs, Maryland Health Care System, 10 North Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Eric Goldberg
    Affiliations
    Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

    Veterans Affairs, Maryland Health Care System, 10 North Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      Abdominal pain is a complaint seen commonly in the outpatient setting. Many etiologies, both acute and chronic, can be evaluated on an outpatient basis. However, several causes of abdominal pain necessitate prompt, focused, and structured evaluation, given associated morbidity and mortality. The differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with acute abdominal pain is exhaustive, necessitating that the physician understand not only the underlying pathophysiology of the pain, but also the clinical presentation, course, and initial management of more harmful causes. A focused history, physical examination, and adjunctive testing strategy will allow for those patients with concerning presentations to be identified, initially managed, and appropriately referred for continued care.
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