Charcot’s Triad

Other Known Aliases – none

Definitiontriad of physical examination findings seen with ascending cholangitis and includes jaundice, fever, and right upper quadrant pain.

Clinical Significance this is a classic triad to memorize for your surgery rotation to help differentiate cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, and cholangitis.

HistoryNamed after Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), a French neurologist and professor of anatomic pathology who recieved his medical doctorate from the University of Paris in 1853. He would start his career at the famous Hôpital de Salpêtrière and stay there for over 30 years establishing the reputation of this hospital as the premier training center in Europe. He would also create the first neurology clinic in all of Europe at the Salpêtrière where his reputation would be solidified as the “father of modern neurology”. His career is too prestigious to give it justice in a quick eponym review, as evidenced by at least 15 current eponyms bearing his name.


  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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