Medical Practice

Diagnostic Abdominal Paracentesis

Br Med J 1972; 1 doi: (Published 04 March 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;1:617
  1. J. Gjessing,
  2. B. M. Oskarsson,
  3. P. J. Tomlin,
  4. J. Brock-Utne


    Diagnostic abdominal paracentesis was performed in 43 patients in whom the diagnosis was uncertain. It was found to be particularly useful in abdominal pain resulting from trauma. In 12 patients the findings led to their being spared a laparotomy while in several other patients they led to very early diagnosis of the lesion responsible enabling early surgical treatment to be undertaken. A false-negative result was obtained in only one patient. It is concluded that diagnostic abdominal paracentesis is an extremely reliable diagnostic aid and can lead to improved surgical care of the patient with atypical acute abdominal pain.

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