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Chapter 7 - Acute Abdomen in Early Pregnancy

from Section 2 - Early Pregnancy Problems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2021

Tahir Mahmood
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Charles Savona Ventura
University of Malta, Malta
Ioannis Messinis
University of Thessaly, Greece
Sambit Mukhopadhyay
Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, UK
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Acute abdomen describes severe abdominal pain usually of less than 24 hours’ duration that may require emergency surgery. This is a very common presentation in the gynaecology services. In the pregnant patient the underlying cause may be pregnancy related or non-pregnancy related. Assessment and diagnosis are often challenging due to the influence of pregnancy on maternal physiology and the very wide range of differential diagnoses [1]. Abdominal pain is a very common symptom in pregnancy that most often resolves without much intervention. This observation may make the clinician complacent and therefore less suspicious of more serious or life-threatening underlying pathology. Diagnostic evaluation is further complicated by altered reference ranges of laboratory tests. A multidisciplinary team approach is essential to facilitate an efficient diagnostic workup as well as ensuring the most effective treatment is initiated without undue delay.

The EBCOG Postgraduate Textbook of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Obstetrics & Maternal-Fetal Medicine
, pp. 55 - 63
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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