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In medicine, palpation (from Latin palpare , "to stroke") is the examination of the body through touch , that is, through the use of various qualities of the sense of touch . Palpation is one of the oldest diagnostic procedures already handed down in ancient Egyptian papyri and, like inspection , auscultation and percussion, is part of the physical examination in medicine .

The so-called palpation can be done with one or more fingers as well as with the palm. Palpation with both hands is called a bimanual palpation . It is mostly used to bring an organ - for example the spleen or the uterus - closer to the examining hand with one hand.

The consistency , elasticity , mobility , sensitivity to pain and the size of the organs or body structures to be examined are assessed.

Among other things, the following are palpated:


  • Markwart Michler : The hand as a doctor's tool. A brief history of palpation from its beginnings to the present. Wiesbaden 1972 (= contributions to the history of science and technology. Volume 12).
  • Klaus Holldack, Klaus Gahl: Auscultation and percussion. Inspection and palpation. Thieme, Stuttgart 1955; 10th, revised edition ibid 1986, ISBN 3-13-352410-0 , pp. 14-16, 41 f., 46-48, 58 f., 66, 86, 91-95, 97-101, 150, 156 , 160, 164, 167 f., 173-177. 180, 182, 184-186, 190 f., 193, 206-211, 214, 216, 219-221, 227, 238-265.

Web links

Commons : Palpation  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Palpation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Markwart Michler: The palpation in the corpus hippocracticum. A contribution to the history of ancient diagnostics , Janus 57 (1970), pp. 261-292.
  2. Volker Hess: Palpation. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1093.