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Abdominal X-ray(Flat Plate of the Abdomen; Kidneys, Ureter, Bladder; KUB)

An x-ray creates pictures of organs in the body. This type of x-ray takes a picture of organs in the abdomen.

Abdominal Organs

3d male digestive organs

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Test

This test may be done if there is a problem in your abdomen. The area includes everything from just under your chest to your pelvic area. Some symptoms you have may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or side pain
  • Bloating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloody or dark black stools
  • Abdominal trauma
Possible Complications

Complications are rare. If you are planning to have an x-ray, your doctor will review a list of possible complications.

An x-ray does use radiation. You and your doctor will weigh the harms and benefits of this test. An x-ray may not be advised if you are pregnant. Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.

What to Expect
Prior to Test

Usually no special preparation is needed.

You will remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You will also need to remove all metal items, like jewelry and watches.

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Have taken any bismuth medications (such as Pepto-Bismol) within the last 4 days
  • Had a barium contrast x-ray within the last 4 days
  • Are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant
Description of Test

You will lie flat on your back under the x-ray machine. You will be asked to remain still while the x-ray is taken. Between x-rays, you may be asked to move into another position. You may also be asked to stand upright.

After Test

You will be able to leave after the test is done.

How Long Will It Take?

The x-ray will take about 10 minutes

Will It Hurt?



The x-ray may help your doctor find the source of your problem. If the x-ray shows an abnormality, you may need more testing such as:

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any questions about the test, your condition, or your test results.

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders

Urology Care Foundation


Public Health Agency of Canada

The Kidney Foundation of Canada


Kidney, ureter, and bladder x-ray. John Hopkins Medical Center website. Available at:,P07719. Accessed January 26, 2015.

Last reviewed March 2016 by James Cornell, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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