Carman meniscus sign

The Carman meniscus sign describes the lenticular shape of barium in cases of large and flat gastric ulcers, in which the inner margin is convex toward the lumen. It usually indicates a malignant ulcerated neoplasm; in cases of benign gastric ulcers, the inner margin is usually concave toward the lumen 1.

Carman meniscus sign is seen after compression of a gastric tumour that surrounds the lesser curvature thus apposing both surfaces of the surrounding tumour and entrapping contrast between these margins and cause a semilunar configuration 2 3.

The following must be present in order to visualise the sign:3

  • flat infiltrating ulcerative lesion with heaped-up margins. 
  • saddle region of the stomch i.e. lesser curvature of body or antrum
  • examination should be single-contrast or biphasic study (sign may be visible in double contrast study but may be not recognised).
  • compression must be applied to the stomach.

History and etymology

It is named after Russell Daniel Carman (1875-1926), an American professor of Roentgenology (born in Canada) 2.  The sign was described in the late 1930s prior to double contrast studies 3.

See also

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Article information

rID: 19920
Section: Signs
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Carman sign
  • Carman's meniscus sign

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