shifting dullness


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to shifting dullness: Puddle sign, fluid wave, fluid thrill

shift·ing dull·ness

a sign of free peritoneal fluid wherein the dullness of percussion shifts, generally from one side to the other, as the patient is turned from side to side.

shifting dullness

A mobile area of decreased resonance found during percussion of a body part as the body changes position. The finding suggests that fluid is contained within a body cavity and that it moves with gravity.
See also: dullness