What Causes of Chronic Abdominal Pain, Both Common and Uncommon, Should Be Considered and Investigated by the Emergency Medicine Provider?
Adult patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with chronic or recurrent abdominal pain pose many challenges in management and disposition for the emergency care provider. It is important to be aware of potentially life-threatening causes of chronic abdominal pain and consider commonly missed diagnoses which may be amenable to specific therapies. Chronically recurring abdominal pain is a symptom of many clinical entities. Functional or nonorganic disorders are diagnoses of exclusion. As with many chronic pain patients, frequent visits to the ED are often characteristic of opiate dependence and may complicate the search for undiagnosed but treatable conditions.
KeywordsChronic abdominal pain Recurrent abdominal pain Functional gastrointestinal disorder
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