X-ray takes a picture of structures and
organs in the belly (abdomen). This includes the
stomach, liver, spleen, large and small intestines, and the diaphragm, which is
the muscle that separates the chest and belly areas. In an emergency, the
results of an abdominal X-ray are ready in a few minutes. Otherwise, a
radiologist usually has the official X-ray report
ready the next day.
The pictures made by the
X-rays show that the stomach, small and large bowel, liver, spleen, kidneys,
and bladder are normal in size, shape, and location.
No growths, abnormal amounts
of fluid (ascites), or foreign objects are seen. Normal amounts
of air and fluid are seen in the intestines. Normal amounts of stool are seen
in the large intestine.
A blocked intestine may be
seen because a portion of the intestine is larger than usual or areas in the
intestine have abnormal amounts of air or fluid in them.
A collection of air inside the
belly cavity but outside the intestines (caused by a hole in the stomach or
intestines) may be seen.
The walls of the intestines
may look abnormal or thick.
The size, shape, or location of the bladder or kidneys
may be abnormal. Kidney stones may be seen in the kidney, ureters, bladder, or
In some cases,
gallstones can be seen on an abdominal X-ray.
Abnormal growths, such as
large tumors, or ascites may be seen.
A foreign object is seen or a
medical device looks abnormal or out of position.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Being pregnant. If a view of a pregnant woman's belly is needed,
an ultrasound test may be done instead.
Not being able to lie still and hold your breath during the
What To Think About
Your X-ray results may be different from earlier test results
because you were tested at a different medical center or you had a different
kind of test.