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
- 4.Levine JS, Burakoff R. Extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;7(4):235–41.Google Scholar
- 11.Chowdhury A, Dhali GK, Banerjee PK. Etiology of gastric outlet obstruction. Amer J Gastroenterol. 1996;91(8):1679.Google Scholar
- 15.Hlnas JR, Gore RM, Ballantyne GH. Superior mesenteric artery syndrome: diagnostic criteria and therapeutic approaches. Am J Surg. 1984;148:4–6.Google Scholar
- 18.Ho CL. Wandering spleen with chronic torsion in a patient with thalassaemia. Singap Med J. 2014;55(12):2002–4.Google Scholar
- 19.Costanza C, Longstreth G, Liu A. Chronic abdominal wall pain: clinical features, health care costs and long term outcome. Gastroenterol. 2012;6(2):300–8.Google Scholar
- 20.van Assen T, Brouns J, Scheltinga MR, Roumen RM. Incidence of abdominal pain due to the anterior cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome in an emergency department. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2015;23(19):1–6.Google Scholar
- 27.Tsai M, Huang S, Cheng S. Lead poisoning can be easily misdiagnosed as acute porphyria and nonspecific abdominal pain. Case Rep Emerg Med. 2017;9050713, 4 pages. Accessed online 01/19/2018.Google Scholar