- Abdominal mass
An abdominal mass is any localized enlargement or swelling in the
human abdomen. Depending on its location, the abdominal mass may be caused by an enlarged liver( hepatomegaly), enlarged spleen( splenomegaly), protruding kidney, a pancreatic mass, a retroperitoneal mass(a mass in the posterior of the peritoneum), an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or various tumours, such as those caused by abdominal carcinomatosisand omental metastasis. The treatments depend on the cause, and may range from watchful waitingto radical surgery.
Many abdominal masses are discovered incidentally during routine
physical examination. When they present symptomatically, abdominal masses are most frequently associated with painor digestive problems. However, depending on the cause, masses may be associated with other signs and symptoms, such as jaundiceor bowel obstruction.
The first steps in diagnosis are a
medical historyand physical examination. Important clues during history include weight loss, diarrheaand abdominal pain.
During physical examination, the clinician must identify the location of the mass, as well as characterize its location (usually specified in terms of
quadrants). The mass should be assessed for whether it is rigid or mobile. It should also be characterized for pulse or peristalsis, as these would help in further identifying the mass.
blood tests are usually the next step in diagnosis after a thorough medical history and physical examination. They should include a full blood count, blood urea nitrogen(BUN), creatinine, and liver function testssuch as albumin, international normalized ratio(INR), partial thromboplastin time(PTT), serum amylaseand total bilirubin (TBIL). If late-stage liver diseaseis suspected, then a serum glucose may be appropriate.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Cholecystitis(an inflammationof the gallbladder)
* Colon cancer
* Gallbladder tumor
Kidney cancer(including renal cell carcinoma)
* Liver cancer
Volvulus(twisted piece of the gastrointestinal tract)
* [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia] : [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003274.htm Abdominal mass] - An informative primer on abdominal masses and their common causes.
* [http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/Default.htm First Principles of Gastroenterology] : [http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/En/chapter1/1-18.htm Abdominal Mass] - This chapter discusses the basic approach to abdominal masses.
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