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Sail sign

In radiology the sail sign is finding X-ray that suggests an abnormality.

Elbow X-ray

On an elbow X-ray that suggests an occult fracture. Its name derives from the fact that, with some imagination, it has the shape of a spinnaker (sail).[1] It rises from displacement of the fat pad around the elbow joint. Both anterior and posterior sail signs exist and both can be found on the same X-ray.

In children, a sail sign suggest a supracondylar fracture of the humerus. In adults it suggests a radial head fracture.

Chest X-ray

On chest X-ray the sail sign suggests pneumomediastinum.[2]


  1. ^ Chapman S (1991). "The sail sign.". Br J Hosp Med 46 (6): 399-400. PMID 1760676.
  2. ^ Bejvan S, Godwin J (1996). "Pneumomediastinum: old signs and new signs.". AJR Am J Roentgenol 166 (5): 1041-8. PMID 8615238.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sail_sign". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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