Grey Turner sign

The Grey Turner sign refers to the clinical finding of atraumatic flank ecchymosis, which is occasionally associated with retroperitoneal hemorrhage, classically due to hemorrhagic pancreatitis 2. It is thought to occur when blood extravasates from the posterior pararenal space and crosses through the transversalis fascia, emerging subcutaneously after dissecting along the lateral aspect of the quadratus lumborum.

History and etymology

The sign was first described by George Grey Turner (1877-1951), an English surgeon, in 1919 7.

Differential diagnosis

Several other patterns of non-traumatic cutaneous ecchymosis associated with various etiologies of retroperitoneal hemorrhage have also been described;

  • Fox sign 3
    • sharply demarcated ecchymosis located caudal to the inguinal ligament on the anteromedial thigh
  • Cullen sign
    • periumbilical ecchymosis thought to represent egress of retroperitoneal blood along the falciform ligament
  • scrotal sign of Bryant
    • painless, diffuse scrotal and penile ecchymosis/blue discoloration
    • classically associated with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm 5
  • Stabler sign
    • ecchymosis extending along the inguinal ligament 6

Article information

rID: 83382
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Grey Turner's sign

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

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

 Thank you for updating your details.