Schamroth Test

Other Known Aliases none

Definition – test used for diagnosing nail clubbing by examining the window seen between the nails of opposite fingers

Clinical Significance there should be a diamond size window in “normal” nails when performing this test. In patients with nail clubbing, this window is obliterated

HistoryNamed after Leo Schamroth (1924-1988), a Belgium-born, South African cardiologist who received his medical doctorate from the University of Witwatersrand in 1948. He completed his residency at Johannesburg General Hospital and joined the staff at Baragwanath Hospital in 1956, where he would stay his entire career culminating in chief physician in 1972. He would publish over 300 papers and eight textbooks in the realm of cardiology, and his Introduction to Electrocardiography is still one of the most stolen medical textbooks in the world. He published his eponymous finding in an article entitled “Personal Experience” in 1972 in the South African Medical Journal.


  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
  6. Schamroth L. Personal experience. S Afr Med J. 1976; 50(9):297-300. [pubmed]

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