- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Trendelenburg's test I

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Test for varicose veins. Patient lies on his back and raises his leg to empty the veins. A tourniquet is applied just below the saphenous opening. The patient is then stood up and the tourniquet removed in 60 seconds. Normally the vein should fill from below within 35 seconds with the tourniquet in situ. Earlier filling indicates incompetence of a communicating vein. If on release the veins fill rapidly from above it is due to incompetent sapheno-femoral valves.


  • Sir Benjamin Brodie:
    Lectures Illustrative of Various Subjects in Pathology and Surgery. London, Longman, 1846.
  • F. Trendelenburg:
    Über die Unterbindung der Vena saphena magna bei Unterschenkelvaricen.
    [Brun’s] Beiträge zur klinischen Chirurgie, 1891; 7: 195-210.
    Reprinted, with translation, in Med. Classics, 1940, 4: 989-1023.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

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