Citation, DOI & article data
The Fothergill sign describes an examination finding used to distinguish an abdominal wall mass from one arising in the abdomen itself.
The sign is said to be present if a mass remains palpable and becomes fixed when the rectus muscles are contracted, such as when the patient lifts their head from a pillow. Such a mass is often found to be a rectus sheath hematoma 1.
History and etymology
The sign was described by William Edward Fothergill (1865–1926), then Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Manchester, UK, in an article in the British Medical Journal in 1926 2.
- 1. Yale SH, Tekiner H, Yale ES. Fothergill and Carnett signs and rectus sheath hematoma. (2020) Journal of rural medicine : JRM. 15 (3): 130-131. doi:10.2185/jrm.2019-019 - Pubmed
- 2. Fothergill WE. Haematoma in the Abdominal Wall Simulating Pelvic New Growth. (1926) British medical journal. 1 (3413): 941-2. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.3413.941 - Pubmed