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Accuracy of bedside emergency physician performed ultrasound in diagnosing different causes of acute abdominal pain: a prospective study.

OBJECTIVE: Abdominal pain is a common complaint in the emergency department and accurate diagnosis of its etiology may affect the patient's outcome.

METHOD: Patients with abdominal pain underwent ultrasound study first by trained emergency physicians and then by radiologists blinded to emergency physician's results.

RESULT: Emergency physician who performed bedside ultrasound had 78% diagnostic accuracy. Emergency physicians showed better results in diagnosing some entities (abdominal aortic aneurysm and renal stones) than the others (acute appendicitis, cholelithiasis, and cholecystitis).

CONCLUSION: Bedside ultrasound can accurately identify the etiology of acute nontraumatic abdominal pain in the hands of emergency physicians.

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