Pinch-an-inch test for appendicitis

Bruce D. Adams, Devin Rickett, Philip A. Albaneze, Michael D. Jones, Gerald York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rebound tenderness is a widely used examination technique for patients with suspected appendicitis, but it can be quite uncomfortable. An alternative test for peritonitis is termed the "pinch-an-inch" test. This report describes two patients who presented with mild abdominal pain who subsequently were found to have appendicitis. In both patients, classic peritoneal signs were absent, but the pinch-an-inch test was positive. The experienced physician's bedside clinical examination remains the most critical component for rapidly identifying peritonitis. Although rebound tenderness is a widely used examination, it is uncomfortable and may be inaccurate. To perform the pinch-an-inch test, a fold of abdominal skin over McBurney's point is grasped and elevated away from the peritoneum. The skin is allowed to recoil back briskly against the peritoneum. If the patient has increased pain when the skin fold strikes the peritoneum, the test is positive and peritonitis probably is present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1209
Number of pages3
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Appendicitis
  • McBurney's point
  • Peritoneum
  • Rebound tenderness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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