Acute and Chronic Upper Right Abdominal Pain – Diagnosis

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Acute Upper Right Abdominal Pain

The cause of upper right abdominal pain may be determined by the duration of pain, relation to meals, physical conditions and various other symptoms. Apart from these there are various other diagnostic methods for accurate identification of abdominal pain. Following are the various organs or structures where abdominal pain is felt and also the methods of diagnosis:

Gallstones – The presence of gallstones in gallbladder can cause cramping pain just under the lower right ribcage. Ultrasound can determine the presence of gallstones but it is not always reliable. CT, MRI, ERCP or HIDA scan can help diagnose gallstones in gallbladder.

Right Kidney Disorders – For any kind of suspected kidney disorders to be the cause of upper right abdominal pain, ultrasound is suggested. Even the blood test shows an elevation in WBC levels. Sometimes, even urine tests are carried out.

Hepatitis – Abdominal pain in the upper right side as a result of hepatitis can be diagnosed by blood tests. The tests show antigens and antibodies that are specific for hepatitis A, B, C, D or E. Even the liver enzymes are increased in number.

Infectious Mononucleosis – Infection mononucleosis is caused due to enlargement of liver by a virus named Epstein Barr. Acute infectious mononucleosis is diagnosed by the presence of EBV IgM antibodies in blood.

Adrenal Gland Disorders – Diagnosed with CT or MRI, adrenal gland infarct can cause severe upper right abdominal pain.

Pneumonia – Bacterial pneumonia that affects the right lung can be identified easily by chest X-ray and blood tests.

Pleurisy – Pleurisy, inflammation of membranes covering the lung, can be concluded from symptoms. X-ray or CT is recommended in some cases just to be sure.

Injuries – A chest X-ray can reveal if any injuries are responsible for upper right abdominal pain.

Shingles – A thorough physical examination can help in diagnosing an abdominal in upper right quadrant as a result of shingles.

Abscess under the Diaphragm – Abscess developed under the diaphragm’s right part can result in acute pain in the upper right abdomen. This can bed diagnosed by either ultrasound or an X-ray.

Chronic Upper Right Abdominal Pain

Given below are the conditions that can cause chronic upper right abdominal pain and also the various diagnosis methods that work for each of these:

Gallbladder and Bile Duct Disorders – A chronic upper right abdominal pain due to gallbladder and bile duct disorders can be diagnosed by a special MRI. In some cases, upper endoscopy is carried out to measure the pressure in bile duct.

Liver Disorders – Some liver disorders lead to chronic abdominal pain. Any kind of liver inflammation or other disorders can be diagnosed with blood tests, CT and MRI. Quite often liver biopsy is also necessary depending on the condition.

Atypical Pneumonia – For diagnosing atypical pneumonia, chest X-rays are taken. Even blood tests are used but show varying results based on the cause.

Some other conditions that cause chronic upper right abdominal pain are cancer and disorders related to stomach, duodena and pancreas. These conditions are diagnosed by various investigations tests based on the condition and severity of the pain.

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