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August 16, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(7):377-378. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480330031005

One of the most significant symptoms of inflammation of the appendix, as distinguished from other pathologic conditions that may develop in the right iliac fossa, is undoubtedly the tenderness over McBurney's point. Too often it is assumed by the practitioner that there must be spontaneous pain in the right iliac fossa whenever acute appendicitis develops. It is perfectly possible, however, for an active inflammation of the appendix to be dangerously progressive without the slightest pain in this region, or with only some passing discomfort on movement. Yet a touch over the point midway between the anterior superior spine and the umbilicus may reveal the existence of exquisite tenderness. This is the significant value of the diagnostic symptom discovered by the New York surgeon, and the real reason why Mc-Burney's point has attracted the attention of the medical world.

This point of tenderness is practically invariably