Right Lower Quadrant Pain - Diagnosis

What are the usual tests for right lower quadrant pain?

Your doctor will narrow the (enormous) field of possible right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain diagnoses by talking to you and examining you. They may be able to find the cause simply by doing so. For example, if they find the typical rash of shingles, you will need no further tests to find the cause. The doctor will certainly need to feel your tummy (abdomen) in the area you have the pain, but may also need to examine other parts too, such as the rest of your tummy.

You will probably be asked to provide a sample of urine, to rule out kidney problems.

You may well have to go for blood tests. These might include tests to:

  • Check the function of your liver and kidneys.
  • Rule out any inflammation or infection in your body.
  • Look for anaemia.
  • Check your sugar level.

What other tests might be needed for right lower quadrant pain?

Next it will depend on what the examination and the tests above have suggested. In some cases no further tests will be needed - if, for example, your doctor is confident you have constipation or shingles.

If a problem with your large bowel is suspected, you may need an examination with a tube with a camera put into your large bowel (a colonoscopy). A computerised tomography (CT) scan or an ultrasound scan may be helpful to look for diverticula and to look at your kidneys. These tests are also used in women to look at the ovary and tubes. In some cases an X-ray of the tummy may be useful. Further tests include other 'scopes' (such as a sigmoidoscopy) and other scans (such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan).

If it is thought you have appendicitis, an ectopic pregnancy (women) or a torsion of your testicle (testis) - men, you may only have one or two of these tests before having emergency surgery to treat your problem.

Nobody will need all these tests, and some people may not need any.

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Author:
Dr Jacqueline Payne
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
29452 (v1)
Last Checked:
08 July 2017
Next Review:
07 July 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.