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Abdominal hernias: Radiological features.

Abdominal wall hernias are common diseases of the abdomen with a global incidence approximately 4%-5%. They are distinguished in external, diaphragmatic and internal hernias on the basis of their localisation. Groin hernias are the most common with a prevalence of 75%, followed by femoral (15%) and umbilical (8%). There is a higher prevalence in males (M:F, 8:1). Diagnosis is usually made on physical examination. However, clinical diagnosis may be difficult, especially in patients with obesity, pain or abdominal wall scarring. In these cases, abdominal imaging may be the first clue to the correct diagnosis and to confirm suspected complications. Different imaging modalities are used: conventional radiographs or barium studies, ultrasonography and Computed Tomography. Imaging modalities can aid in the differential diagnosis of palpable abdominal wall masses and can help to define hernial contents such as fatty tissue, bowel, other organs or fluid. This work focuses on the main radiological findings of abdominal herniations.

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