Pathology Demonstrated:

  • Abnormal masses, air fluid levels, and accumulations of intraperitoneal air under diaphragm are demonstrated.
  • Perform erect radiograph first if patient comes to department ambulatory or in wheelchair in an erect position.

Technical Factors:

  • IR size - 35 x 43cm (14 x 17 inches), lengthwise
  • Moving or stationary grid (use erect markers)
  • 70 to 80 kV range


  • Include erect marker on IR.


  • Used gonadal shield on males. An adjustable freestanding mobile shield can be used as for chests.

AP abdomen Erect

Patient Position:

  • Upright, legs slightly spread, back against table or grid device (see note below for weak or unsteady patients)
  • Arms at sides away from body
  • Midsagittal plane of the body centered to midline of the table or erect Bucky

Part Position:

  • Do not rotate pelvis or shoulders.
  • Adjust height of IR so the center is approximately 2 inches (5cm ) above iliac crest (to include diaphragm), which for the average patient will place the top of the IR approximately at the level of the axilla.

Central Ray:

  • CR horizontal, to center of IR
  • Minimum SID of 40inches (100cm)


  • Collimate closely on all four sides; do NOT cut off upper abdomen.
Abdominal X-ray radiograph
AP Abdomen


  • Exposure should be made at end of expiration.


  • Patient should be upright a minimum of 5 minutes, but 10 to 20 minutes is desirable, if possible, before exposure for visualizing small amounts of intraperitoneal air. If a patient is too weak to maintain an erect position, a lateral decubitus should be taken. For hypersthenic patients, two crosswise IRs may be required to include the entire abdomen.