Is there ever a reason to request an abdominal x ray (AXR)?
Hardly ever, according to this review of evidence for their use in emergency departments. An AXR gives a radiation dose equivalent to that from 35 chest x rays and no longer has a place in the routine investigation of abdominal pain.
Evidence based reasons for requesting an urgent AXR include
- Acute abdominal pain, if bowel obstruction is suspected
- Esophageal foreign body is suspected
- Sharp or poisonous foreign body is suspected.