March 1975

Ultrasound and Abdominal Abscesses

Author Affiliations

Department of Radiology Harvard Medical School Peter Bent Brigham Hospital 25 Shattuck St Boston, MA 02115

Arch Surg. 1975;110(3):245. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360090015001

Ultrasound is fast becoming a routine diagnostic modality in a number of conditions involving the abdomen. The ability to localize lesions not otherwise detectable by conventional methods (including some highly complex, expensive techniques) in a rapid, noninvasive manner is made more desirable by the reliable capability of ultrasound to distinguish between cystic and solid lesions.

The detection of intra-abdominal abscesses has long been a diagnostic dilemma. Very often, patients with suspected abscesses are in the postoperative state or complex situations exist where extensive dissection would otherwise be necessary to localize the abscess. Two reports in this issue of the Archives (see pages 335 and 341) describe the usefulness of ultrasonography in detecting a variety of abscesses. In selected instances, the diagnosis can be carried onestep further.

When absolute proof is required before exploration, a special central-channeled aspiration transducer may be used to aspirate the abscess with a fine-gauge needle under

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