Chronic or recurrent abdominal pain affects the quality of life of many patients and often represents a diagnostic problem. Disorders in the abdomen but also far away can cause abdominal pain.
With ultrasound not only the organs themselves but also many of their functions can be made visible and measurable. Causes of pain can be found more easily. Often simple treatments can help to alleviate annoying or even disabling symptoms.
In fructose maldigestion e.g. the foaming bowel content can be seen at a first glance with high resolution ultrasound. This finding draws the attention to digestive disorders due to sugar maldigestion. Lactose and other sugars are also often to claim and the diagnostic search can be abridged. Then, simple changes of diet are the clue to improvement of abdominal pain.
Another widespread finding is the reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus. This sonographic finding is often a consequence of increased pressure in the deeper parts of the intestinal tract. Sometimes disturbances of peristalsis are found that can cause such a pressure increase.
Inflammation of the bowel wall is one of the most frequent reasons for such a disturbed transport of the regular bowel contraction. This is seen as a strong coloration of the bowel wall in color Doppler ultrasound. Enlargement of lymph nodes, swelling of the liver and spleen, circulatory disorders and vascular compressions often lead to recurrent abdominal pain and are often missed if no detailed ultrasound examination is carried out initially.
The following pages provide detailed information how modern functional color Doppler ultrasound contributes to the diagnosis of abdominal pain and many other complaints.