What To Think About
- Other tests, such as a Reference computed tomography (CT) scan Opens New Window, may be needed to follow up abnormal ultrasound results. For more information, see the topic Reference Computed Tomography (CT) Scan.
- Reference X-rays Opens New Window are not recommended during pregnancy because of the risk of damage to the Reference fetus Opens New Window. Because ultrasound is safe during pregnancy, it generally is used instead of an abdominal X-ray if a pregnant woman's abdomen needs to be checked.
- In rare cases, gallstones may not be found by ultrasound. Other imaging tests may be done if gallstones are suspected but not seen on the ultrasound. For more information, see the topics Reference Gallbladder Scan, Reference Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP), and Reference Abdominal X-ray.
- Using abdominal ultrasound, a doctor can usually distinguish among a simple fluid-filled cyst, a solid tumor, or another type of mass that needs further evaluation. If a solid tumor is found, abdominal ultrasound cannot determine whether it is cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). A Reference biopsy Opens New Window may be needed if a tumor is found. Ultrasound may be used during the biopsy to help guide the placement of the needle.
- Ultrasound is less expensive than other tests, such as a CT scan or Reference magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan Opens New Window, that also can provide a picture of the abdominal organs. But for some problems, such as abdominal masses or an injury, a CT scan or MRI may be a more appropriate test. Also, these tests may be done if the abdominal ultrasound is normal but abdominal pain persists. For more information, see the topics Reference Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Body and Reference Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Abdomen.
- A pelvic ultrasound will be used to produce a picture of the lower abdominal (pelvic) organs and other structures inside the pelvis. For more information, see the topic Reference Pelvic Ultrasound.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 5, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology