Abdominal x rays expose patients to significant doses of radiation and have limited use in emergency medicine. This review explores the evidence supporting the use of abdominal x rays in the emergency department, with particular reference to recent guidelines published by the Royal College of Radiologists. The authors' recommendations for the use of abdominal x rays in the emergency department are given.
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Additional table published online only at http://emj.bmj.com/content/vol26/issue3
Competing interests: None.