Abdominal girth is the measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point. Measurement is most often made at the level of the belly button (navel). 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
- Buildup of intestinal gas, most often caused by blockage or obstruction in the intestines
Martin P. Approach to the patient with liver disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 148.
Bray GA. Obesity. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 6.
Update Date 10/14/2013
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.