Abdomen, acute

Persistent, severe abdominal pain of sudden onset, usually associated with spasm of the abdominal muscles, vomiting, and fever. The most common cause of an acute abdomen is peritonitis. Other causes include appendicitis, abdominal injury, perforation of an internal organ due to disorders such as peptic ulcer or diverticular disease. Acute abdominal pain commonly begins as a vague pain in the centre but then becomes localized. An acute abdomen requires urgent medical investigation that may involve a laparoscopy or a laparotomy. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.