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Clin Med Res. 2019 Jul 15. pii: cmr.2019.1420. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2019.1420. [Epub ahead of print]

Abdominal Physical Signs of Inspection and Medical Eponyms.

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University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Graduate Medical Education, 6850 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827.
University of Florida, Department of Medicine. 2000 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL 32610.
Erciyes University School of Pharmacy, Department of the History of Pharmacy and Ethics. Talas, Kayseri 38280 Turkey.
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449.
University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, 6850 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827. Email:



An eponym in clinical medicine is an honorific term ascribed to a person(s) who may have initially discovered or described a device, procedure, anatomical part, treatment, disease, symptom, syndrome or sign found on physical examination. Signs, although often lacking sufficient sensitivity and specificity, assist in some cases to differentiate and diagnose disease. With the advent of advanced technological tools in radiological imaging and diagnostic testing the importance of inspection, the initial steps taught during the physical examination, is often overlooked or given only cursory attention. Nevertheless, in the era of evidence-based and cost-effective medicine, it becomes compelling and we contend that a meticulously performed history and physical examination applying the basic tenets of inspection remains paramount prior to obtaining appropriate diagnostic tests.


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


We described the historical aspect, clinical application, and performance of medical eponymous signs of inspection found on physical examination during the 18th to 20th century.


Abdomen; Eponyms; Inspection; Physical Examination; Signs

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