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To the Editor:
—I am not aware that the following sign for the detection of fluid in the pleural sacs has been described heretofore, nor can I find any reference of it in standard works on physical diagnosis or in other medical treatises. In my hands it has proved to be a rapid, easy and useful sign by which to determine the presence of fluid of sufficient amount to be detected by ordinary methods of percussion.Nellis B. Foster wrote: "Physical signs over fluid are variable to an extreme, and there is no combination of them which invariably indicates fluid."If the abdominal cavity contains fluid (over 800 cc.), simple tapping of one flank with the fingers will produce vibrations or succussions on the opposite side to the palpating fingers of the other hand. This procedure is as old as any other in physical diagnosis.If the fluid in the
Pitfield RL. DIAGNOSTIC SIGN FOR PLEURAL FLUID. JAMA. 1932;99(7):582–583. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740590062032