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Charcot’s triad is an eponym referring to two sets of clinical features: one for acute cholangitis or, less commonly, a second set for multiple sclerosis. It is named after Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893), a French neurologist who first described the combination of signs and symptoms as they relate to these two diseases.
Most commonly Charcot’s triad is used with regard to ascending cholangitis. Definitions commonly describe three common signs and symptoms: right upper quadrant pain, jaundice, and fever.
Related to this description is Reynolds' pentad. Pentad means 'group of five' and includes the additional two signs of:
Charcot described a triad describing some of the clinical signs of multiple sclerosis: nystagmus, intention tremor, and dysarthria. These signs are, however, not considered to be pathognomonic. This triad is sometimes referred to as 'Charcot's triad 1' or as 'Charcot's neurologic triad' to differentiate it from the more commonly used Charcot's triad of acute cholangitis.
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