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Point of care ultrasound in the acute abdomen: the value of assessing free fluid

  • Luca Ponchietti1,*,
  • Pablo Colsa Gutierrez1
  • Alejandra García Jiménez2
  • Carlos Jose Yánez Benitez1

1Department of General Surgery, San Jorge University Hospital, 22004 Huesca, Spain

2Department of Community Nursing, San Jorge University Hospital, 22004 Huesca, Spain

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2023.039 Vol.19,Issue 4,July 2023 pp.1-5

Submitted: 16 June 2022 Accepted: 16 September 2022

Published: 08 July 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Luca Ponchietti E-mail:


Acute abdomen represents about 50% of admission in developed countries. It comprises different etiologies, each with a distinct clinical presentation and evolution. Irrespective of the cause, it is related to high morbidity and a non-negligible mortality rate. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to decrease morbidity and mortality and the cost-efficiency of health systems. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), a bedside ultrasound performed by a non-radiologist, has shown great potential in many clinical conditions, including the acute abdomen. It allows, first of all, to quickly assess the abdomen in what we call a rule-out modality, and in more experienced hands can be used for a more focused examination which we call rule-in modality. The findings of free fluid POCUS in patients with acute abdomen should guide the assessment of the severity, the diagnostic workflow, and the timing for surgical consultation.


Acute abdomen; Point of care ultrasound; Free-fluid; Bedside ultrasound; Emergency surgery

Cite and Share

Luca Ponchietti,Pablo Colsa Gutierrez,Alejandra García Jiménez,Carlos Jose Yánez Benitez. Point of care ultrasound in the acute abdomen: the value of assessing free fluid. Signa Vitae. 2023. 19(4);1-5.


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