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Digestive system and abdominal viscera (CT): want to learn more about it?

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Digestive system and abdominal viscera (CT)

Learning objectives

Going through this study unit will help you learn:

  1. The normal anatomical appearance of the abdominal organs on CT scans
  2. The assessment of the lumina of the hollow organs by the use of contrast agents

Explore CT scan

Together with x-ray, CT is a method of choice for examining abdominopelvic anatomy. CT clearly visualizes bone, soft tissue, air, fat and fluids, making abdominal CT a powerful tool in discovering all sorts of abdominal pathology. It is indicated in most of the cases of clinically unclear abdominal pain.

For the sake of clinical examination completeness, it’s necessary to film the entire abdomen of a person at many lumbar vertebral levels. This gives us a stack of abdominal CT scans for examination. To get the full picture of abdominal anatomy, we move through the slices from cranial to caudal while examining structures from their beginning to end. For our assessment, we take a systems approach to the abdominal viscera, primarily dedicating attention to the gastrointestinal tract, examining the patency and general appearance of the digestive tube. For this, we often use contrast agents which are seen as bright white aggregations within the hollow organs. Moreover, one should assess the appearance of the solid organs of the abdomen, namely the liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen and suprarenal glands.

Browse through these 8 abdominal CT slices and try to assess the anatomy of the digestive system and abdominal viscera.

You can study each structure major individually with the following gallery:

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Expand your knowledge with a broader range of topics that cover the whole abdominopelvic CT with our customizable quiz:

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