Diagnostic paracentesis in the acute non-traumatic abdomen
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Needle paracentesis in the assessment of abdominal injuries is well documentated; its value in diagnosis is established; its freedom from significant complications is noteworthy. The procedure has enjoyed less popularity as an investigative measure in the acute non-traumatic abdomen; the present study was undertaken in an attempt to determine its usefulness in this respect.
It was found that positive paracentesis contributed in greater or lesser degree to diagnosis on 72 per cent of occasions. Negative paracentesis was more disappointing and helped only in 28 per cent of cases. The overwhelming impression was that peritoneal tap was a valuable and safe diagnostic measure. While it is desirable to exercise restraint in its use, it is well to remember that nothing is lost by performing a tap in a doubtful case while much may be gained.
- Moretz, W. H. and Erickson, W. G. (1954).Amer. Surgn., 20, 363.Google Scholar