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Abdominal girth

Definition

Abdominal girth is the measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point, usually at the level of the belly button (navel). Measuring abdominal girth is used to diagnose and monitor the following:

  • Buildup of fluid in the abdomen, most often caused by liver failure or heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Buildup of intestinal gas, most often caused by blockage or obstruction in the intestines
Review Date: 
11/13/2011
Reviewed By: 
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicin; George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.