Roberts sign (fetal demise)

Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 25 Apr 2019

Roberts sign refers to the presence of a gas shadow within the heart or the greater vessels, in cases of fetal death in utero. It is a rare sign caused by postmortem blood degeneration, usually seen 1-2 days after death; and may be seen as early as 12 hours.

History and etymology

First described as a sign on radiographs by J B Roberts in 1944 1; it was first described on ultrasound in 1983 by Barbara J Weinstein, American radiologist and Lawrence D Platt, American obstetrician 2.

Related articles

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.