Home About AllHealth Website Sitemap Contact Us
All Health 
You are here: Home > Test Finder > A > abdominal X-rays


abdominal X-rays

Images    (Click to view larger image)

Abdominal film

Alternative Names 
abdominal film, 3 way abdominal series, abdominal obstructive series, kidney, ureters and bladder film, KUB film, "flatplate" of the abdomen

An abdominal film usually indicates a series of x-rays taken to diagnose certain abdominal problems.

Who is a candidate for the test? 
A doctor may recommend this test for a person who has:
  • swelling, pain, or a mass in the abdomen
  • severe constipation, diarrhoea, or vomiting
How is the test performed? 
X-rays are electromagnetic waves of energy that form a picture of bones or other tissues inside the body. The density of the tissue helps dictate how far the x-rays penetrate. Tiny amounts of radiation absorbed by the tissues produce various grades of black and white on x-ray film. An x-ray examination is painless.

When abdominal films are taken, the x-rays may include the:
  • chest
  • upright abdomen, which is taken while standing
  • flat abdomen, which is taken while lying down
A person unable to stand may be asked to lie on his or her left side for one of the films.

What is involved in preparation for the test? 
A person having an X-ray will completely undress and put on a hospital gown. All jewellery-including pierced body jewellery-must be removed. The person will be asked:
  • if he or she has any metal objects in their body
  • if he or she has taken any medication with bismuth in it, such as Pepto-bismol
  • when he or she last ate or had something to drink
  • if he or she has had any barium x-ray examinations in the past 4 to 5 days
  • if he or she can briefly hold a breath
A woman will also be asked if she:
  • might be pregnant
  • has an intrauterine device (IUD)
What do the test results mean? 
This kind of x-ray examination may:
  • help find an obstruction in the bowel.
  • find abnormal calcifications such as gallstones and kidney stones.
  • find a hole or perforation in the bowel.
  • detect fluid such as blood or other body fluid.
  • identify enlarged organs.
  • find abnormal masses.
  • detect pneumonia, which could be the cause of abdominal symptoms, such as pain.
Author: James Compton, MD
Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 6/06/2005
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


Back Email a Friend View Printable Version Bookmark This Page


eknowhow | The World's Best Websites
    Privacy Policy and Disclaimer