Signs article structure

Last revised by Arlene Campos on 30 Jan 2024

Articles on signs are in general short articles and do not usually require subheadings.


Signs are numerous in radiology and typically relate to a specific appearance or feature that is reminiscent of an object. A named sign aims to help recognize or understand a specific imaging appearance (e.g. racing car sign of corpus callosal dysgenesis). The most important signs are those that help radiologists recognize important and otherwise non-obvious diagnoses (e.g. sail sign of radial neck fractures or Mt Fuji sign of tension pneumocephalus).

Not all signs are created equal and if every sign that has been used by individual radiologists were to be included then Radiopaedia would be inundated with these to the overall detriment of the site. Therefore, for a sign to be suitable to be added to Radiopaedia it must be published and widely recognized in the radiology or medical literature, be appropriate and have some pedagogical utility.

For the sake of clarity, if any of the following criteria are met, then a sign is not appropriate and should not be added:

  • the sign is not widely published in existing radiology or medical literature; a single case report is not sufficient

  • the sign is an individual case that happens to have a feature that resembles an object - for these cases, we have a special place: Rorschach radiology

  • the sign is racist, sexist, offensive or otherwise inappropriate: see unacceptable content

  • the sign is a variation on an existing sign (e.g. bullseye vs target); in such instances, it can be added as a synonym

Many signs are named using unusual terms that give no clue as to what they relate to. To make this more contextual, the context of the sign should be included in parentheses. This may be a part of the body, or a condition, or a system. Which you choose will depend on the sign, but should be as precise as possible (i.e. if a sign relates to only one condition, then the context should be the condition, whereas if the sign is more general, the context may be a region or even a system).


The structure of a signs article should be similar to any other short article, and usually, does not require subheadings. Often, they can be illustrated with a photo or diagram depicting the object which the sign is named after, to help with visual recall. These images should either be taken by the contributor or sourced from appropriate sites with compatible licenses (see online resources for more info). 

As with all our articles, it is important to reference a peer-reviewed journal article or textbook. Read more about references

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