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Gastroenterology 

Gastroenterology
Chapter:
Gastroenterology
Author(s):

Drew Provan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198766537.003.0007
Page of

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date: 18 October 2019

This chapter summarizes key investigations to diagnose symptoms and signs in the gastrointestinal lumen, liver, and pancreas, looking at the risk and benefits of each procedure, as well as indications, special considerations, and safety concerns prior to booking. These investigations diagnose abnormal appearances, measure disordered motility, determine the presence of infection, study absorption within the intestinal lumen, and measure disordered physiology. Less invasive tests such as faecal occult blood samples are used to screen subjects to determine those at higher risk of pathology who would require more invasive investigation. Judicious use of blood tests provides a similar role in triaging before more complex tests and highlights those patients at greater risk. Finally, for practical diagnostic procedures, including ascitic tap which junior doctors are likely to complete on the wards, there are practical guides to safely completing the procedure.

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