This sign takes 24–48 hours to appear and can predict acute pancreatitis, with mortality rising from 8–10% to 40%. It may be accompanied by Grey Turner's sign (bruising of the flank), which may then be indicative of pancreatic necrosis with retroperitoneal or intra-abdominal bleeding.
- acute pancreatitis, where methemalbumin formed from digested blood tracks around the abdomen from the inflamed pancreas
- bleeding from blunt abdominal trauma
- bleeding from aortic rupture
- bleeding from ruptured ectopic pregnancy
Importance of the sign is on a decline since better diagnostic modalities are now available.
- synd/1386 at Who Named It?
- T.S. Cullen. Embryology, anatomy, and diseases of the umbilicus together with diseases of the urachus. Philadelphia, Saunders, and London, 1916.
- Bosmann M, Schreiner O, Galle PR (April 2009). "Coexistence of Cullen's and Grey Turner's signs in acute pancreatitis". Am. J. Med. 122 (4): 333–4. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.08.032. PMID 19332225.