Courvoisier sign (hepatobiliary)

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Craig Hacking et al.

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.

See article:  pancreatic adenocarcinoma

History and etymology

The sign was described by Swiss surgeon Ludwig Georg Courvoisier in 1890.

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Article information

rID: 40219
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Courvoisier law
  • Courvoisier's law
  • Courvoisier's sign
  • Courvoisier's gallbladder
  • Courvoisier gallbladder
  • Courvoisier-Terrier's sign
  • Courvoisier-Terrier sign

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: pancreatic malignancy
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