Flat-Plate Radiography of Abdomen (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder, KUB, Scout Film)

Norm of Flat-Plate Radiography of Abdomen (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder, KUB, Scout Film)

Normal-sized kidneys as judged by radiopaque renal outlines, no abdominal calcifications, no abdominal free air, no evidence of intramural bowel gas, no evidence of bowel distention to indicate possible obstruction or ileus, no rib or pelvic fractures, no evidence of nephrolithiasis or cholelithiasis.


Usage of Flat-Plate Radiography of Abdomen (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder, KUB, Scout Film)

A screening abdominal radiograph used to rule out acute abdominal disease processes to include colonic perforation, obstruction, or ileus. Occasionally helpful in the diagnosis of cholelithiasis and nephrolithiasis. At times helpful in establishing the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (in this disorder abdominal calcifications can be seen occasionally on KUB film).


Description of Flat-Plate Radiography of Abdomen (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder, KUB, Scout Film)

A plain abdominal film exposed from anterior to posterior (AP) with the client in the supine position. The lower portion of the radiograph displays the superior portion of the symphysis pubis, and the superior portion of the film shows the upper margins of the renal shadows.

During pregnancy, risks of cumulative radiation exposure to the fetus from this and other previous or future imaging studies must be weighed against the benefits of the procedure. Although formal limits for client exposure are relative to this risk:benefit comparison, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that the cumulative dose equivalent to an embryo/fetus from occupational exposure not exceed 0.5 rem (5 mSv). Radiation dosage to the fetus is proportional to the distance of the anatomy studied from the abdomen and decreases as pregnancy progresses. For pregnant clients, consult the radiologist/radiology department to obtain estimated fetal radiation exposure from this procedure.


Professional Considerations of Flat-Plate Radiography of Abdomen (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder, KUB, Scout Film)

Consent form NOT required.

  1. The radiograph may be taken either in the x-ray department or in the client's room with portable equipment.
  2. No special preparation of the client is necessary before the radiography.



  1. The client is placed in the supine position.
  2. Radiographic shields are placed over the gonadal areas.
  3. The client is asked to expire and hold his or her breath. The film is exposed at the end of expiration.


Postprocedure Care

  1. No special postprocedure care is required. The client may require transport back to his or her nursing care unit if the film is done in the radiology department.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. The risk of malignancy from plain abdominal radiographic procedures is minimal.
  2. Radiographic damage to the gonads is prohibited by abdominal shielding of these areas during the radiographic procedure.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Respiration artifact (the client breathing during exposure of the radiograph).
  2. Inappropriate positioning of the radiograph cassette leading to abdominal areas missed when the film is exposed.
  3. Underexposure or overexposure of the film.


Other Data

  1. The KUB is considered to be a screening procedure. More powerful diagnostic radiologic procedures (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging scans, barium studies) may be required to establish the diagnosis.