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Mercedes-Benz sign (gallbladder)

Last revised by Patrick O'Shea on 03 Aug 2022

In the gallbladder, the Mercedes-Benz sign describes a star-shaped pattern of gas-fissuring within gallstones initially described on an abdominal radiograph 2.

Fissures, usually fluid-filled, are present in close to 50% of gallstones. Less than half of these fissured gallstones contain some amount of nitrogen gas 1. The radiolucency caused by the gas usually appears in a triradiate pattern, reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz logo.

Terminology

The terms crow's foot and star‐shaped were previously used to describe fissured gallstones. However, they were replaced by the Mercedes-Benz sign 4

History and etymology

Friedrich August Walter first described stellate fissuring of gallstones in vitro in 1796. In 1931, Béla Breuer described their appearance on an abdominal radiograph 4.

 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Mercedes Benz badge
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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  •  Case 5
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  • Case 6
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