Courvoisier sign (hepatobiliary)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 04 Aug 2021

Courvoisier sign or Courvoisier-Terrier sign states that in a patient with painless jaundice and an enlarged gallbladder (or right upper quadrant mass), the cause is unlikely to be gallstones and therefore presumes the cause to be an obstructing pancreatic or biliary neoplasm until proven otherwise 1.

See article:  pancreatic adenocarcinoma

History and etymology

The sign was described by Swiss surgeon Ludwig Georg Courvoisier (1843-1918) in 1890 1,2.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: pancreatic malignancy
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