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The Plain X-Ray in the Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen

James J. McCort, MD
Arch Surg. 1972;105(1):134. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180070130036.
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The authors designed this book as a practical guide to the use of the plain x-ray films of the abdomen to aid the medical student, casualty officer, or the trainee surgeon, who sometimes must make his or her own assessment when the radiologist is not available for interpretation.

The authors recommend a systematic examination of the x-ray film of the abdomen. They subdivide the subject as follows: alimentary system, genitourinary system, trauma, diseases of infancy and childhood, and miscellaneous opacities on the plain x-ray film. The reader studies: bones, soft tissue shadows, gas shadows, opacities, and general view. However, only two radiographs illustrate "normal appearances."

For use in clinical practice, the writers suggest the following:

If confirmation of a provisional diagnosis is sought, refer to this diagnosis in the index. This will allow comparison of the patient's x-ray films with typical examples. Each example has a list of alternative radiological


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