Association of clinical and laboratory variables with ultrasound findings in right upper quadrant abdominal pain

Lisa D Mills, Trevor Mills, Barbara Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine how laboratory values and physical examination findings correlate with ultrasound findings in the setting of right upper quadrant pain. Methods: Patients undergoing emergent ultrasound for the evaluation of biliary disease between November 1999 and April 2000 were included. Physical examination findings, laboratory data, and ultrasound results were variables. Logistic regression was performed. Ultrasound diagnosis of acute cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, and normal biliary tract were end points. One hundred seventy-seven patients were enrolled. Results: Forty-two percent were diagnosed with acute cholecystitis, 30.5% with cholelithiasis, and 27.1% with normal biliary tract. Alkaline phosphatase, Murphy sign, white blood cell count, and total bilirubin were statistically significant predictors of acute cholecystitis. A Murphy sign was defined as arrest of inspiration with pressure over the right upper quadrant. Conclusions: The findings from this study allow clinicians to apply objective significance to laboratory data and physical examination findings in patients with suspected gallstone disease. The data can be applied to create a predictive model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal pain
  • Cholecystitis
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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