The Approach to Abdominal X-rays

Utility of the imaging modality aside, abdominal radiographs can be a bit of a challenge to interpret.  With a number of possible techniques (cross table laterals, left lateral decubitus, AP, upright, or supine) and a lot of structures to evaluate (is that small bowel or large bowel?, is that a kidney stone or an infamous phlebolith?), it's pretty easy to stare at a film and zone out as you eye moves from one shade of gray to another.

In the embedded video below, PGY-1 resident, Dr. Julie Teuber goes through a standardized approach to reading the abdominal x-ray that hopefully help keep your eyes from going cross-eyed next time you need to interpret an acute abdominal series.