Plain Film of the Abdomen
In recent years, new techniques such as ultrasonography, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging have been used widely and have altered the use of plain films of the abdomen in the evaluation of abdominal diseases. Plain films of the abdomen are still used primarily to assess intestinal perforation (intraperitoneal air) or bowel obstruction or assessment for catheter placement. The plain radiograph is commonly used as a preliminary radiograph before other studies such as CT and barium enema. The yield of plain radiographs is higher in patients with moderate or severe abdominal symptoms and signs than in those with minor symptoms.