- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Cullen's sign

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Bluish discoloration of the periumbilical skin (periumbilical cyanosis and grid cyanosis) due to subcutaneous intraperitoneal haemorrhage. This may be caused by ruptured ectopic pregnancy, or, more rare, acute pancreatitis.

Se also Turner's sign, under George Grey Turner, English surgeon, 1877-1951.


  • T. S. Cullen:
    Embryology, anatomy, and diseases of the umbilicus together with diseases of the urachus.
    Philadelphia, Saunders, and London, 1916.
    This work contains extraordinary illustrations by Max Brödel, including a series of truly remarkable variations in belly buttons. Bluish coloration of the umbilicus as a diagnostic sign where ruptured extrauterine pregnancy exists.
    In: Contribution to Medical and Biological Research dedicated to Sir William Osler.
    New York, 1919, 1: 420-421.

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