Waldenström sign is the increased distance between the pelvic tear drop and the femoral head. It is a highly specific sign of a hip joint effusion.
- >11 mm total distance or >2 mm difference compared to contralateral hip 1,2
- measured between the lateral aspect of the pelvic tear drop and the medial aspect of the femoral head (referred to as Kohler teardrop distance) 1,2
History and etymology
It is named after the Swedish orthopaedic surgeon, J (Johann) Henning Waldenström (1877-1972) 4, who published the first description of the sign in an article on Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease in children in 1934 3. Waldenström macroglobulinaemia is named after Jan Gösta Waldenström, who was the son of Henning Waldenström.
The sign was only first confirmed to represent a hip effusion in adults in 1987 5.
- 1. Yochum and Rowe's Essentials of skeletal radiology. LWW. ISBN:0781739462. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Buttler P. Applied radiological anatomy. Cambridge University Press. (1999) ISBN:0521481104. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Waldenstrom H. The First Stages of Coxa Plana, Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica. 1934;5:1-34. DOI: 10.3109/17453673408991314.
- 4. Domenico Ribatti. Protagonists of Medicine. (2010) ISBN: 9789048137411
- 5. Sweeney JP, Helms CA, Minagi H, Louie KW. The widened teardrop distance: a plain film indicator of hip joint effusion in adults. (1987) AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 149 (1): 117-9. doi:10.2214/ajr.149.1.117 - Pubmed