Bird beak sign (right colon)

The bird beak sign of the right colon is tapering obstruction of the inferior part of right colon seen on contrast enema or CT scan with rectal contrast indicating caecal volvulus.

This sign can help to differentiate caecal volvulus from caecal bascule, in particular on a contrast/barium enema study. A caecal bascule tends to appear as a rounded termination of the contrast/barium column with the caecum folded superiorly, anterior to the ascending colon, instead of a sharp beak-like termination in volvulus.

However, on CT a more specific sign for caecal volvulus is the whirl sign of twisted mesenteric vessels.


The term bird beak sign is used in a number of other contexts: see bird beak sign (disambiguation).

Inspired signs
Share article

Article information

rID: 49120
Section: Signs
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.