What Is The Best Test For Abdominal Pain?
Although abdominal pain is one of the common medical conditions, not every case is the same! While some abdominal pain occurs from an upset tummy, some come from serious internal disorders like gallstones or liver inflammation. You never know whether you have a tumor growing in your abdominal organs or soft tissues that lay causing the pain.
Now, not all tests can diagnose all problems accurately. That is precisely why medical scientists brought so many technological advancements into play to diagnose each condition accurately.
While an abdominal MRI is superior in differentiating between an abnormal abdominal mass and soft tissues, an abdominal CT is the gold-standard method to detect intra-abdominal bleeding.
On the same note, not all tests apply to all! A person with metallic implants cannot have an MRI. A pregnant woman cannot get an X-Ray or CT scan. An ultrasound may ensure clarity of the potential problem underlying!
So, what is the best test for abdominal pain depends on your specific pathological condition, health history, and doctor’s analysis. Do you want to see in what situation which test can serve best? Then, continue reading!
Ultrasound or X-Ray: Doctors’ Preliminary Choice For Diagnosing The Cause Of An Abdominal Pain!
If doctors predict that it is an inflammation of any abdominal organ triggering severe abdominal pain, the first test they recommend is either an x-ray or an ultrasound. Both are quick and painless process and does not involve any invasion. They are easily accessible and come at a lesser expense.
While an x-ray operates on electromagnetic radiation beams generating the internal images, an ultrasound encompasses sound waves to create the images. While an X-ray can only create two-dimensional images, an ultrasound can bring forth three-dimensional cross-section images.
Both tests can look into your abdominal cavity, stomach, kidneys, intestines, spleen, liver, and other abdominal organs, revealing the abnormality or disorder, if any. These tests can diagnose infections in your abdominal organs, collection of pus (or abscess), blockage in the intestines, kidney stones, gallstones, bladder stones, and so forth!
Your doctor may also recommend either of these scans to locate an aortic aneurysm in your abdominal area. An ultrasound serves great in measuring the size of your abdominal aorta. It can also diagnose abnormal liver function. An x-ray efficiently serves in detecting perforation (or hole) in your intestines. It can also reveal a swallowed foreign object like a coin or button.
However, both tests have certain limitations. Both may fail to detect smaller cysts or stones, thereby limiting the possibility of early treatment. An X-ray can bring side effects and health complications due to the involvement of radiation, whereas; an ultrasound is a safer procedure and typically gets recommended for children and pregnant women! Yet, an ultrasound may show ambiguous results in diagnosing early-stage malignant tumors or a deep abdominal injury.
CT Scan: The Gold-Standard Method For Locating and Evaluating The Cause Of Abdominal Pain!
While discussing what is the best test for abdominal pain, most medical experts select a CT (Computed Tomography) scan. It is because what an ultrasound or x-ray cannot diagnose, a CT scan can! It offers greater accuracy in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain, identifying even smaller stones or cysts, and determining their exact size, location, extent, and composition.
A CT procedure is almost the same as an X-ray, quick, non-invasive, and painless! A CT scan is available in almost all diagnostic centers, hospitals, and clinics. However, just like an x-ray, a CT scan does involve radiation. So, it is not suitable for children or patients with allergies. At that time, your doctor is likely to recommend a different test.
During a CT scan, several x-rays beams lay at work to culminate two-dimensional or three-dimensional cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs from different angles. Undoubtedly, such a modality helps doctors pinpoint an internal abdominal injury in case of emergencies. It can detect benign or malignant tumors in your abdominal organs.
A CT scan can detect lesions accurately and also a thickened bowel wall. It can locate the origin of inflammation of your abdominal organs and examine its extent better than an X-ray or ultrasound. According to studies, a CT scan holds 82% sensitivity and 84.8% specificity in diagnosing internal hernia, the one arising from past abdominal surgery!
MRI Scan: The Diagnostic Modality That Helps Identify And Assess Complex Abdominal Disorders!
When an ultrasound, x-ray, or CT scan cannot reveal the actual cause of your abdominal pain, your doctor may opt for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test. It is a prominent answer to what is the best test for abdominal pain in case of a complex abdominal disorder, such as first-stage cancer in your abdominal soft tissues.
An MRI reserves greater precision in diagnosing the size and stage of an abdominal tumor if compared to a CT scan. Yes. This test can create a more in-depth image of your internal body structures. That is why an MRI lay used to assess kidney glomeruli inflammation (called glomerulonephritis).
Doctors prescribe this test to get better clarification in terms of your previous CT or ultrasound findings. It can show the extent of tissue damage in organ transplant rejection, like your kidney. It can identify whether the swelling of your kidney arises from urine backflow. An abdominal MRI is a superior test to diagnose liver cirrhosis and assess its stage.
During an MRI scan, powerful magnetic fields alongside computer-generated radio waves lay used together to produce cross-sectional images of your abdominal structure, even the lymph nodes, blood vessels, etc. Hence, your doctor may order this test to detect damage in the tubule cells of your kidney, abnormalities in the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), or stones in your bile duct.
Your doctor may even recommend this to differentiate between cancer and other lesions in your abdominal organs. It is a safer process than CT or x-ray because it does not indulge in radiation. However, an MRI is highly expensive and not so easily accessible. Thus, your doctor is likely to recommend this test only when no other diagnostic modality works.
Are you still here searching for the answer to what is the best test for abdominal pain? If so, let us wrap this up. The answer to your question is subjective and depends on multiple factors, as you have already shown throughout! My advice here would be to get help from doctors and follow what they say.
If your doctor recommends an abdominal MRI in Chandigarh, you can book a test from any NABL-accredited lab in the city by availing yourself of our website, www.mrichandigarh.com. We list the top labs and also ensure discounts.