Dalrymple Sign

Other Known Aliases – none

Definitionretraction of the upper eyelid in Grave’s disease causing abnormal wideness of the palpebral fissure

Clinical Significance a classic examination of the ophthalmopathy of thyrotoxicosis in which you will see the white of the sclera clearly visible at the upper margin of the cornea with direct outward gaze.

HistoryNamed after John Dalrymple (1803-1852), an English ophthalmologist who received his medical doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 1827. He would spend his entire, albeit short due to ill health, career as an eye surgeon at the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital in London. He was also a skilled histologist and microscopist and was the first to publish on the findings of the Bence Jones protein of multiple myeloma. His eponymonic examination finding was published, shortly before his untimely death at 47, in his magnum opus “Pathology of the Human Eye” in 1852.


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  3. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Up To Date. www.uptodate.com

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