Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Mar;48(3):326-8.

Percussion of Traube's space--a useful index of splenic enlargement.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, JLN Medical College and Hospital, Ajmer.



To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of palpation and percussion for splenic enlargement, as the accuracy of many of the clinical maneuvers we perform remains largely unstudied.


One hundred cases were selected at random from medical wards, and splenic enlargement was assessed by palpation and percussion of the Traube's space (Barkuns method), which was confirmed by the ultrasonography of the abdomen. The results of the various tests were tabulated and assessed statistically.


1) Performance of Traube's space percussion shows 24 true positive and 48 true negative cases, the test thus had an overall sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 75%. It was also found that the BMI of the false negative cases was significantly higher (29.43 Kg/m2). 2) Palpation as a diagnostic maneuver had a high specificity of 96.87% along with high false negative rate with overall low sensitivity of 44.44%. 3) Interpolation of findings of Traube's space percussion and palpation showed that maximum clinical utility could be achieved when both percussion and palpation were positive.


Percussion of the Traube's space is a useful clinical screening test for splenomegaly, with a sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 75%, as compared to palpation (sensitivity of 44.44% and specificity of 96.87%). And maximum clinical utility is achieved when both percussion and palpation are combined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center