Boas' sign

Boas' or Boas's sign is hyperaesthesia (increased or altered sensitivity) below the right scapula can be a symptom in acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).[1] It is one of many signs a medical provider may look for during an abdominal examination.[2]

Originally this sign referred to point tenderness in the region to the right of the 10th to 12th thoracic vertebrae.[3] It is less than 7% sensitive.[4][5]

Its namesake is Ismar Isidor Boas (1858–1938), German physician and first licensed GI specialist in his country.[6]

Boas' sign can also indicate stomach and duodenal disease. When the transverse processes of thoracic vertebrae T10-T12 are pressed or effleuraged with the bottom of the hand, pain can appear at left of spinous processes (in stomach's lesser curvature ulcer) or at right (in pyloric or duodenal ulcer).[7]


  1. "Boas' sign" (web). GPnotebook. Retrieved 2007-01-21.
  2. Hewish, Dr Paul. "Abdominal Examination" (web). Patient Plus. Retrieved 2007-01-21.
  3. Trowbridge, RL; Rutkowski, NK; Shojania, KG (1 January 2003). "Does this patient have acute cholecystitis?" (PDF). JAMA. 289 (1): 80–6. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.80. PMID 12503981.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  5. Gunn A, Keddie N. Some clinical observations on patients with gallstones. Lancet 1972;2:230-241
  6. "Ismar Isidor Boas" (web). Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  7. Gupta (1 January 2003). Textbook of Surgery. Jaypee Brothers Publishers. p. 767. ISBN 978-81-7179-965-7.
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