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abdominal guarding

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n.
A spasm of the abdominal wall muscles to protect inflamed abdominal viscera from pressure; it usually results from inflammation of the peritoneal surface as in appendicitis, or generalized peritonitis, and is detectable on palpation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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