Abdominal Physical Signs and Medical Eponyms: Movements and Compression

Vaibhav Rastogi, Devina Singh, Halil Tekiner, Fan Ye, Joseph J Mazza, Steven H Yale
Clinical Medicine & Research 2018, 16 (3-4): 76-82

BACKGROUND: Prior to the advent of modern imaging techniques, maneuvers were performed as part of the physical examination to further assess pathological findings or an acute abdomen and to further improve clinicians' diagnostic acumen to identify the site and cause of disease. Maneuvers such as changing the position of the patient, extremity, or displacing through pressure a particular organ or structure from its original position are typically used to exacerbate or elicit pain. Some of these techniques, also referred to as special tests, are ascribed as medical eponym signs.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Medline, online Internet word searches, textbooks and references from other source text. PubMed was searched using the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) of the name of the eponyms and text words associated with the sign.

CONCLUSION: These active and passive maneuvers of the abdomen, reported as medical signs, have variable performance in medical practice. The lack of diagnostic accuracy may be attributed to confounders such as the position of the organ, modification of the original technique, or lack of performance of the maneuver as originally intended.


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