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The Use of X-Ray for Abdominal and Pelvic Imaging: A Review of the Basics

Erica Schuster Rieffanaugh, RT(R)(CT)

*Diagnostic Imaging Technologist, Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton, Washington.
Address correspondence to: Erica Schuster Rieffanaugh, RT(R)(CT), Diagnostic Imaging Technologist, Harrison Medical Center, 2520 Cherry Ave, Bremerton, WA 98310.

Disclosures: Ms Rieffanaugh reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


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.

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