Murphy’s Sign


Testing for Murphy’s Sign:

  • press your left thumb just under the right costal margin and ask the patient to take a deep breath.
  • A sharp increase in tenderness with a sudden stop in inspiratory effort constitutes a positive Murphy’s sign of acute chelecystitis.


  1. Refers to a finding elicited in physical examination of the abdomen.
  2. It is useful for differentiating pain in the right upper quadrant.

A positive sign is typical in cholecystitis

A negative Murphy’s sign typically is elicited in:

  1. pyelonephritis
  2. choledocholithiasis
  3. ascending cholangitis

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