Chinese dragon sign (vascular)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 24 Jun 2021

The Chinese dragon sign is a radiological sign on abdominal radiograph and CT describing the radiologic appearance of calcified tortuous splenic artery that resembles a Chinese dragon. The tortuous splenic artery segment on the splenic hilum side represents the dragon head while the other arterial segments represent the dragon body.

It is an incidental finding that is usually seen in elderly and diabetic patients and may allow diagnosis of splenic artery aneurysms (with CT/MRI confirmation). Evidence suggests however that neither splenic artery aneurysms nor pseudoaneurysms are more common in those with heavily-calcified splenic arteries.

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Cases and figures

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