Pierre Mallet-Guy

Pierre Mallet-Guy (1897-1995)

Pierre Mallet-Guy (1897 – 1995) was a French surgeon.

His primary research and practice focused on hepato-pancreato-billiary surgery

During his career, he was Chargé de Mission by the General Directorate of Cultural Affairs in numerous countries including the United States (1948); Canada (1949); Portugal (1951); Haiti, in Cuba and Mexico (1952); Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Peru (1955); and Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria (1961)

Eponymously remembered for his description of left upper quadrant palpation as a sign in patients with pancreatic inflammation (Mallet-Guy sign 1943)


  • Born 19 May 1897 Beaune, France
  • 1925 – Doctorate in Medicine, University of Lyon
  • 1946 – Professor of Surgical Pathology at University of Lyon
  • 1958 – Professor of the Surgical Clinic A at the University of Lyon
  • Director of the Surgical Research Unit of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research at the Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyon
  • Officier de la Légion d’Honneur; Commandeur de l’Ordre Jugoslovenske Zvezde; Croix de Guerre 1914-1918
  • Died 27 December 1995

Medical Eponyms

Mallet-Guy sign (1943)

Mallet-Guy described a maneuver to detect a painful point in chronic pancreatitis. Pain on deep palpation in the left subcostal and epigastric regions, suggestive of pancreatic inflammation.

Effectivement, dans les pancréatites chroniques gauches, même les plus typiques, la palpation banale de l’épigastre et des hypochondres, la rechersur l’abdomen. L’extrémité des doigts appliquée à 3 ou 4 cm. du rebord chondral, en regard du 9 cartilage, s’engage facilement sous l’auvent costal en déprimant la paroi abdominale antérieure, en direction de la région latéro-vertébrale. Le pancréas se laisse alors directement explorer, et, en un point précis, la palpation révèle une vive douleur que le malade identifie à celle qui a marqué l’évolution do l’affection.

Mallet-Guy, 1943: 170

The fasting patient is placed in the right lateral decubitus position, with the legs semi-flexed on the abdomen. The tip of the fingers applied 3 or 4 cm along the chondral margin, at the 9th cartilage, and easily inserted under the costal arch by depressing the anterior abdominal wall in the direction of the lateral vertebral region. The pancreas then allows itself to be directly explored, and at a precise point palpation reveals a sharp pain which the patient identifies with that which marked the evolution of the affection

Mallet-Guy, 1943: 170

Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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