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solid viscera

internal organs of the abdoment that maintain a characteristic shape (liver, pancreas, spleen, adrenal glands, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus)

hollow viscera

internal organs of the abdomen that shape depends on contents (stomach, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and bladder), usually not palpable

Right upper quadrant

contains liver, gallbladder, duodenum, head of pancreas, right kidney and adrenal, hepatic flexure of colon, part of ascending colon, transverse colon

right lower quadrant

contains cecum, appendix, right ovary and tube, right ureter, right sprermatic cord

left lower quadrant

contains part of descending colon, sigmoid colon, left ovary and tube, left ureter, left spermatic cord

left upper quadrant

contains stomach, spleen, left lobe of liver, body of pancreas, left kidney and adrenal, splenic flexure of colon, part of transverse and descending colon


loss of appetite that occurs with gastrointestinal disease


difficulty swallowing, occurs with disorders of the throat or esophagus


heartburn; a burning sensastion in esophagus and stomach, from reflux of gastric acid

Visceral Abdominal pain

pain from internal organ, usually dull, general poorly localized

Parietal Abdominal pain

pain from inflammation of overlying peritoneum; sharp, precisely localized, aggravated by movement

Referred Abdominal Pain

pain from a disorder in another site

Tarry Stools

stool resulting from occult blood from gastrointestinal bleeding

Gray Stools

these stools occur with hepatits


umbilicus is everted with this

Cullen' s Sign

intaabdominal bleeding; bluish periumbilical color


silery white, linear, jagged marks about 1cm to 6cm long; occur when elastic fibers in the reticular layer of the skin are broken after rapid or prolonged stretching


hyperistalsis of stomach growling; loud gurgling sounds

5 minutes

amount of time you must listen before deciding bowel signs are completely silent


bowel sounds are loud, high pitched, rushing, tinkling sounds that signal increased motility


bowel sounds that follow abdominal surgery or with inflammation of the peritoneum


this sound is present with gaseous distention


this sound occurs over a distended bladder, adipose tissue, fluid, or mass


enlarged liver span indicates liver enlargement known as this


free fluid in the abdominal cavity; test for fluid wave; test for shifting dullness

Blumberg's sign

rebound tenderness, a sign of peritoneal inflammation

Murphy's Sign

inspiratoy arrest; person feels sharp pain and abruptly stops inspiration midway when palpating liver

umbilical hernia

soft, skin covered mass, whcih is the protrusion of the omentum or intestine through a weakness or incomplete closure in the umbilical ring; more common in black, Chinese, and premature infants, most resolve spontaneously by 1 year

Peritoneal friction rub

rough, grating sound, like two pieces of leather rubbed together, indicates peritoneal inflammation

Aortic Aneurysm

most are located below the renal arteries and extend into the umbilicus; 80% are palpable during routine examination and feel like a pulsatingmass in the upper abdomen; hear a bruit as well

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