shotgun sign

shotgun sign2017-07-03T21:12:28+00:00

shotgun sign

shotgun sign gallbladder image from New Medical Terms

shotgun sign gallbladder


Definition An ultrasonography sign used to differentiate obstructive jaundice—in which there is bile duct dilation, often due to impacted gallstones in the common bile duct or at the ampulla, benign strictures, pancreatic carcinoma, cholangitis, biliary surgery, and chronic pancreatitis—and non-obstructive jaundice.

Comment The sign is named for an appearance fancifully likened to a double-barrelled shotgun in which a dilated common bile duct, which is not normally seen (red arrow), is located parallel to the portal vein (red arrowhead), which is normally visible. Unlike most of the other adjectival applications of the word shotgun, in which the emphasis is on the shot and the term refers to the random scattering of the pellets themselves, in this shotgun sign, the emphasis is on the gun itself, specifically a double-barrelled shotgun. 


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