Traube’s Space

Other Known Aliases none

Definition crescent-shaped, anatomic space of the LUQ bordered by the lower edge of the lung, anterior border of the spleen, left costal margin, and the inferior margin of the left lobe of the liver

Clinical Significance Clinically, the surface borders are the sixth rib superiorly, the left mid-axillary line laterally, and the left costal margin inferiorly. The importance of this space is during percussion for splenomegaly. If the spleen is not enlarged, then there will be resonance to percussion. If splenomegaly is present, then there will be dullness. False positives include recent meals, fundal mass, left pleural effusions, or pericardial effusion.

HistoryNamed after Ludwig Traube (1818-1876), a German physician who received his medical doctorate from the University of Berlin in 1840. Due to prejudice against his Jewish ancestry, his academic career was handicapped despite working with notable physicians in Germany and publishing on ground breaking experimental physiology studies, which included using temperature measurement as a routine clinical examination method. A master in auscultation and percussion, he was sought after throughout Germany to study under and utilized these techniques in his popular patient clinics. It was here that one of his former students, Oscar Fraentzel, observed the master clinician and published a report in 1868 on this eponymous space, which he named after his mentor.


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  6. O. Fraentzel. Bemerkungen über den halbmondförmigen Raum und über den Vocalfremitus. Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1868, 5: 509-511 [link]

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