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, heart failure, or any cancer that has spread widely throughout the abdomen
Ascites is the build-up of fluid in the space between the lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Buildup of intestinal gas, most often caused by blockage or obstruction in the intestines
Kumar RB, Aronne LJ. Obesity. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 7.
Martin P. Approach to the patient with liver disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 137.
Abdominal girth measurement - illustration
The measurement of the abdominal girth may be helpful in evaluating central adiposity. Central obesity (“apple shaped” body type) is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
Abdominal girth measurement
Review Date: 7/1/2021
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.