Blumberg sign

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 04 Aug 2021

Blumberg sign is defined as discomfort on the manual application of tension over the abdomen observed by simultaneously watching the subjects face. On the removal of the examiner's hand the patient should be again asked whether he or she is feeling pain or not. It is expressive of peritoneal irritation/peritonitis, and indicative of rebound tenderness, secondary to any abdominal irritation like acute appendicitis, ulcerative colitis and also an indication of ongoing inflammation 1.

History and etymology

Jacob Moritz Blumberg (1873–1955) was a German gynecologist and general surgeon who described this eponymous sign in a paper in 1907, "A new diagnostic symptom in appendicitis". He also introduced rubber gloves for temporary sterilization during surgery 1.

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