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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Abdominal X-Rays

Abdominal X-Rays

Alternate Names : Abdominal Film, KUB

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

Abdominal X-rays are a series of X-rays taken to diagnose certain abdominal problems. A KUB is an abdominal X-ray that looks at the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

Who is a candidate for the test?

Abdominal X-rays may be ordered if the healthcare provider suspects a problem involving the organs in the abdominal cavity. Common examples of these problems are:

  • abdominal pain
  • bowel obstruction
  • foreign object that has been swallowed
  • kidney disorder
  • mass or swelling
  • perforation, or hole, in the bowel
  • severe constipation or diarrhea
  • 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 exam is painless.

    When abdominal X-rays are taken, the X-rays may include the:

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


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    Abdominal X-Rays: Preparation & Expectations

    Author: James Compton, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 04/28/01

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