Abdominal x-ray

Abdominal x-ray

Abdominal x-ray
ICD-9-CM 87.5,87.9, 88.0-88.1

An abdominal x-ray is an x-ray of the abdomen. It is sometimes abbreviated to AXR, or KUB (for kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder).

Diagnostic Tool

The abdominal x-ray is a test that can be carried out quickly and easily in an emergency department. The test can help diagnose some abdominal conditions. It is not a useful investigation for most abdominal conditions. Small and large bowel obstructions, volvulus and malrotations can be diagnosed by AXR. Renal, urethral and bladder stones can sometimes be identified on plain x-ray, although it is usual now to use CT as a first line investigation to confirm clinical suspicion. Gallstones are sometimes noted on x-ray, although ultrasound is the more usual imaging modality used when clinically suspected. Plain abdominal radiography is not usually helpful in diagnosis of appendicitis.

Technical Parameters

An abdominal x-ray is usually taken with the patient lying in a liver, spleen, stomach, intestines, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder.


In an acute setting the abdominal x-ray is used to diagnose:

See also