Abdominal Ultrasound
Diagnosing the

Abdominal Cavity

The abdominal cavity is located between the thoracic cavity in the chest and the pelvic cavity in the bony pelvis.  It is divided into four quadrants: the right upper quadrant (RUQ), the left upper quadrant (LUQ), the right lower quadrant (RLQ), and the left lower quadrant (LLQ). The abdominal cavity contains numerous organs and structures including the stomach, liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, kidneys, adrenal glands, etc. as well as numerous arteries and veins.

Abdominal Ultrasound Examination

An abdominal ultrasound is a noninvasive study used to evaluate the organs and structures within the abdominal cavity.  The procedure is performed by passing the ultrasound transducer over the abdominal wall and directing the high-frequency sound waves at the structure to be studied. These sound waves reflect off of the intra-abdominal structures back to the transducer.  The transducer processes the reflected waves to create real-time images of the organs or tissues being examined. Because no ionizing radiation is used, an ultrasound examination can be repeated with no danger and can be safely used during pregnancy.  An abdominal ultrasound takes about 30 minutes and must be performed while the patient is fasting.



Common indications for a abdominal cavity ultrasound evaluation include:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Gallstones
  • Jaundice
  • Fatty Liver
  • Ascites
  • Flank Pain
  • Urinary Obstruction
  • Hematuria

Frequent Diagnosis

  • Gallstones
  • Kidney Stones
  • Appendicitis
  • Hepatomegally
  • Cirrhosis
  • Splenomegally
  • Cysts / Masses / Tumors / Cancer – Liver, Kidney, Pancreas, Gallbladder, Stomach
  • Aortic Aneurysm
  • Abscess
CPT Codes
  • 76700 – Ultrasound, abdominal, B-scan and/or real time with image documentation; complete

  • 76705 – Ultrasound, abdominal, B-scan and/or real time with image documentation; limited (eg, single organ, quadrant, followup)

Common ICD-10 Codes
  • R10.11 -Right upper quadrant pain

  • R10.12 – Left upper quadrant pain

  • R10.13 – Epigastric pain

  • R10.33 – Periumbilical pain

  • R11.0 – Nausea

  • K76.0 – Fatty (change of) liver, not elsewhere classified

  • R11.2 – Nausea with vomiting, unspecified

  • R16.1 – Splenomegaly, not elsewhere classified

  • R16.2 – Hepatomegaly with splenomegaly, not elsewhere classified

  • K80.80 – Other cholelithiasis without obstruction

  • B18.2 – Chronic viral hepatitis C

  • R16.0 – Hepatomegaly, not elsewhere classified

  • K81.9 – Cholecystitis, unspecified

  • R18.8 – Other ascites

  • R59.9 – Enlarged lymph nodes, unspecified

  • K74.60 – Unspecified cirrhosis of liver

  • R94.5 – Abnormal results of liver function studies

  • R19.7 – Diarrhea, unspecified

  • K59.00 – Constipation, unspecified

  • K85.9 – Acute pancreatitis, unspecified

  • R63.5 – Abnormal weight gain

  • R63.4 – Abnormal weight loss

  • R10.811 – Right upper quadrant abdominal tenderness

  • R10.812 – Left upper quadrant abdominal tenderness

  • R10.813 – Right lower quadrant abdominal tenderness

  • R10.815 – Periumbilic abdominal tenderness

  • R10.816 – Epigastric abdominal tenderness

  • R10.817 – Generalized abdominal tenderness

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