Guarding, abdominal

Involuntary tensing of the abdominal wall muscles to guard inflamed organs within the abdomen from the pain of pressure. This is detected when the abdomen wall is pressed. Guarding is a characteristic finding in the physical examination for a painful abdomen if there is inflammation of the inner abdominal (peritoneal) surface as for example from appendicitis or diverticulitis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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