Abdominal and pelvic radiography is beneficial in many clinical settings. Radiographers must know the clinical indications for abdominal and pelvic radiography, as well as patient anatomy and which organ systems are present in all areas of the abdomen and pelvis. A patient’s body type or habitus can alter the location of specific organs as well as determine the technique that will need to be used to produce acceptable images. It is important to be able to distinguish certain pathologies in order to notify the radiologist when a study needs to be read immediately. Images that are not optimal can obscure pathologies. By reviewing anatomy, positioning, techniques, shielding, and evaluation criteria for each abdominal and pelvic image, this article will assist the radiographer in producing consistent optimal images regardless of factors that are inherent in the patient.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Identify the 4 quadrants, or 9 regions, of the abdominopelvic cavity.
- Define common clinical indications for abdominal and pelvic radiography.
- Describe the steps of proper abdominopelvic radiographic positioning and technique.
- Discuss common abdominal and pelvic pathologies.
- Describe the risk of ionizing radiation to patients and ways to minimize the risk.