Valentino's Sign/perforated gastric ulcer

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    Re: Valentino's Sign/perforated gastric ulcer

    Years ago, we were repairing , on an emergency basis, a perforated gastric ulcer. One of the surgeons mentioned at the time that the presence of free air in the abdomen was diagnostic for a perforated ulcer, or ANY perforated viscus, and received this name in honor of Rudolph Valentino, who died in surgery while they were trying to repair HIS perforated gastric ulcer.
    My problem: I am doing some investigative work as to whether a perforated viscus (in this case, the colon) was worked up properly; that is, if signs and symptoms were ignored.

    I can see that some obvious symptoms were.

    But, I wonder about Valentino's Sign--is this an archaic term, no longer used, since the widespread use of MRI and CT? If it is used, does it refer to PALPABLE free air--that is, crepitus, or subcutaneous emphysema? You know, that "bubble wrap" feel, like when a patient has a spontaneous pneumothorax? Or does it refer to free air visualized on X-ray, such as a flat plate abdomen?

    I typed "Valentino's Sign" into several medical and surgical search sites, and also punched in "perforated gastric ulcer" but found nothing.

    Thank you, one and all, for any help
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

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    You got me. I've worked GI for several years and have never heard that term before.
    I'll ask some of the docs at work and see if I can come up w/any info for you.

    Amy
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    Never heard of it, but I'll print this and take it to work with me to ask the GI Docs tomorrow.
    I'll let you know what I find out.
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    I asked around at work. The docs have never heard of "Valentino's Sign". However, they did say he died from a ruptured appendix, not a perforated gastric ulcer.

    Amy
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    Amy, thank you so much. That helps,because somebody at the national institute for health said that they have never heard of "Valentino's Sign" but did come up with Valentino's appendicitis" as related to peritonitis; but, since I thought he died from a perf'd gastric ulcer, I did not research that angle. But with peritonitis from a ruptured appendix, there would probably be free air and fluid in the abdomen--this makes it much more clear--
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    It's actually called Valentino's syndrome. You can do a Google Search to learn more.
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    Ta-da! Four years later, no less!
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    Thanks! I did google it, and found some info on Wikipedia as well. Valentino DID die, as I originally thought, from a perf'd duodenal ulcer---I think that some people assumed at the time that he died from a perf'd appendix, since he presented with R)LQ pain. But, apparently that's the syndrome---R)LQ pain resulting from a retroperitoneal perforation of the duodenum, secondary to an ulcer.


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