Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to Palpation: motion palpation


Diagnostic examination by touch.



a method of medical examination of a patient. Palpation in the broad sense, for example, feeling the pulse, is mentioned as early as the works of Hippocrates; however, for examination of internal organs it became common in the second half of the 19th century, following the work of R. Laënnec, Joseph Ŝkoda, and V. P. Obraztsov. Palpation is based on tactile perception that results from moving and pressing the fingers or palm of the palpating hand. Tissues and organs are palpated to determine their position, size, shape, consistency, mobility, topographic interrelations, and tenderness.

Palpation may be superficial or deep. Superficial palpation is performed with one or both palms placed flat on the examined area of the skin, joints, heart, or other part of the body. Blood vessels are palpated with the tips of the fingers to determine fullness and the condition of the walls. Deep palpation is performed by special methods that differ for examination of the stomach, intestinal tract (sliding palpation, developed by Obraztsov), liver, spleen and kidneys, rectum, vagina, and other organs.


Miasnikov, A. L. Osnovy diagnostiki i chastnoi patologii (propedevtika) vnutrennikh boleznei, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1951.


References in periodicals archive ?
The midwifery lecturers demonstrated palpation with respect and professional competence, and would invite the nurses to do likewise.
8% of breast cancers were detected by mammography and palpation, respectively.
Importantly, compared to women ages 50 and older, the younger women had a greater percentage of their cancers found by palpation.
The Results: When the babies' temperatures were compared to what the parents reported from palpation, parents frequently overestimated the presence of fever.
However these authors tend to present palpation of the scalenus muscles as straightforward, with little reference to the anatomy of the region.
Objective The objective of this research was to determine the accuracy of pulse palpation to detect atrial fibrillation.
Cows must be diverted through a narrow alley that allows them to be identified and diverted to a catch lane, catch pen, or palpation rail.
People who fail at palpation usually do so out of fear of hurting the doe or developing embryos.
For almost everyone who takes the ALACE Labor Assistant/Birth Doula Training Workshop, one of their favorite parts of the workshop is the experiential exercises--the introduction to palpation and fetal heart tones or the introduction to pelvic exams.
The residents performed very well in some areas, including assessment of perfusion status (100% correct), palpation of the carotid artery (100%), palpation of the femoral artery (97%), palpation of precordium (87%), and auscultation using the stethoscope diaphragm (82%), she reported at the meeting, which was cosponsored by Norwalk Hospital.
The presence of a palpation effect may have been influenced by increased stress involved with the weighing process to obtain body mass, but nearly all cows were weighed after immobilization, so we were unable to determine the separate effect of this procedure.
Inspection and palpation of the external genitalia, the rectum, and prostate and hernias are described as well as routine laboratory testing one would consider when evaluating the male genitourinary system.