Abdominal x rays made easy: bones and soft tissues
In the fifth article in their series on how to read plain abdominal x ray films, Ian Bickle and Barry Kelly discuss inspecting bones and soft tissues and interpreting the findings
Often, little attention is paid to bones and soft tissues when reviewing an abdominal x ray film. However, careful inspection may find new, associated, or longstanding concomitant pathology. With concomitant pathology two abnormalities are identified but have no direct association--for example, an abdominal aortic aneurysm and a fracture of the femoral neck. So including bone and soft tissues as part of a systematic review ensures that no significant findings are overlooked (box 1).
Let's begin by reminding ourselves of the bones and soft tissues shown on an abdominal x ray film.
Bones include the lower ribs and their articulations, the lower thoracic and the lumbar spine, the bony pelvis, and the proximal femora. Soft tissues include the abdominal viscera