Costovertebral angle

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Costovertebral angle
View of the human skeleton from the back; the costovertebral angle is marked.
Latin arcus costovertebralis
Anatomical terminology
Transverse section, showing the relations of the capsule of the kidney.

The costovertebral angle (Latin: arcus costovertebralis) is the acute angle formed on either side of the human back between the twelfth rib and the vertebral column.[1]

The kidney lies directly below this area, so is the place where, with percussion (Latin: sucussio renalis), pain is elicited when the person has kidney inflammation. The presence of pain is marked as a positive Murphy's punch sign or as costovertebral angle tenderness.[2]


  1. ^ "Costovertebral Angle - Medical Definition". Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Musana KA, Yale SH (August 2005). "Murphy's Sign". Clin Med Res. 3 (3): 132. doi:10.3121/cmr.3.3.132. PMC 1237152Freely accessible. PMID 16160065.