Conceptual Framework

CLASSIFICATION A conceptual framework encompassing undifferentiated acute abdominal pain is summarized in IabJel68-1. The classification scheme divides abdominal pain into two main categories: Intraabdominal, i.e., arising from within the abdominal cavity or retroperitoneum, and extraabdominal. Intraabdominal causes are then divided by organ system into the "3G's": GI (gastrointestinal), GU (genitourinary), and GYN (gynecologic), plus a fourth, less common but often catastrophic group of vascular emergencies. Each of these four organ systems is further subdivided into specific diagnoses within that organ system. Pain of extraabdominal origin, which is substantially less common, is similarly divided into four broad etiologic categories of cardiopulmonary, abdominal wall, toxic-metabolic, and neurogenic.

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