Can the location of abdominal pain be useful in determining the cause of the pain

Can the location of abdominal pain be useful in determining the cause of the pain?

The location of abdominal pain can be very helpful in determining the cause of the pain. The abdomen can be easily divided into four quadrants—right upper, right lower, left upper, and left lower. Focal abdominal pain is often related to a disorder of the underlying organ. Individuals may manifest pain differently, however, so it is important to keep a broad differential.

Abdominal Pain by Location

RIGHT UPPER QUADRANTLEFT UPPER QUADRANT
Biliary colic
Cholecystitis—acute or chronic
Hepatic distension or inflammation
Hepatic infarct or abscess
Right lower lobe pneumonia
Myocardial infarction
Splenic infarct, abscess, or rupture
Gastric ulcer
Gastric outlet obstruction
Pancreatitis or pancreatic pseudocyst
Small bowel obstruction
Left lower lobe pneumonia
Myocardial infarction
RIGHT LOWER QUADRANTLEFT LOWER QUADRANT
Appendicitis
Infectious, inflammatory, or ischemic colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Ectopic pregnancy
Tuboovarian disorders
Pyelonephritis
Renal stones
DiverticulitisInfectious, inflammatory, or ischemic colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Ectopic pregnancy
Tuboovarian disorders
Pyelonephritis
Renal stones
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