The diagnosis of an abdominal mass can be frightening to the patient and family alike. The most common etiology of an abdominal mass in a newborn is a benign urologic condition. These conditions include posterior urethral valves, ureteropelvic junction obstruction, or polycystic kidneys. An ultrasound can rapidly diagnose the majority of these lesions in a safe, non-invasive and expeditious fashion.
In older children, an abdominal mass may represent a neoplasm. Once again, an ultrasound is a good screening tool to evaluate if the lesion is solid or cystic. If the lesion is solid or has other suspicious ultra-sonographic findings, then a CT scan of the abdomen is indicated.
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