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Clin Med Res. 2019 Jul 19. pii: cmr.2018.1428. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2018.1428. [Epub ahead of print]

Abdominal Physical Signs and Medical Eponyms: Part I. Percussion, 1871-1900.

Author information

1
University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Graduate Medical Education, 6850 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827 USA.
2
University of Florida, Department of Medicine, 2000 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL 32610 USA.
3
Erciyes University School of Pharmacy, Department of the History of Pharmacy and Ethics, Talas, Kayseri 38280 Turkey.
4
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449 USA.
5
University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, 6850 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827. Email: steven.yale.md@gmail.com steven.yale.md@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Percussion is derived from the Latin word to hear and to touch. Percussion of the abdomen is used to detect areas of tenderness, dullness within an area of tenderness suggestive of a mass, shifting dullness representing fluid or blood, splenic, hepatic and bladder enlargement, and free air in the peritoneum. Covered are abdominal signs of percussion attributed as medical eponyms from the time period beginning in the mid-late nineteenth century. Described is historical information behind the sign, description of the sign, and implication in modern clinical practice.

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:

Percussion signs defined as medical eponyms were important discoveries adopted by physicians prior to the advent of radiographs and other imaging and diagnostic techniques. The signs perfected during this time period provided important clinical cues as to the presence of air within the peritoneum or rupture of the spleen.

KEYWORDS:

Abdomen; Eponyms; History of medicine; Percussion; Signs

PMID:
31324736
DOI:
10.3121/cmr.2018.1428
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