Article in The New Zealand medical journal · February 2009 Source: PubMed citation 1 reads 255 2 authors


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Medical image. Battle's sign

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The New Zealand medical journal · February 2009



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Shiraz University of Medical Sciences



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THE NEW ZEALAND  

MEDICAL JOURNAL

  

Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association 



 

NZMJ 22 May 2009, Vol 122 No 1295; ISSN 1175 8716 

Page 1 of 2 

URL: 


http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1295/xxxx/

 ©NZMA 


  

 

 



Battle’s sign 

Hossein Sanaei-Zadeh, Kamran Aghakhani 



Clinical 

A 25-year-old woman presented to the emergency department (ED) after a severe 

blunt head injury. X-rays of the skull were unremarkable. After 12 hours, a gross 

Battle’s sign was observed (Figure 1).  

 

Figure 1. Haematoma behind the ear, Battle's sign (mastoid ecchymosis) 

 

 



 

What is the significance of this finding? 

 

background image


 

 

NZMJ 22 May 2009, Vol 122 No 1295; ISSN 1175 8716 



Page 2 of 2 

URL: 


http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1295/xxxx/

 ©NZMA 


  

 

Answer 

Haematoma behind the ear, also known as Battle’s sign (mastoid ecchymosis), is a 

clinical indicator of a base of skull fracture.  

This sign is named after Dr William Henry Battle, an English surgeon.

1

 Computed 



tomography (CT) of the brain showed an extensive base of skull fracture extending 

into the left temporal bone.  



Author information: Hossein Sanaei-Zadeh, Associate Professor of Forensic 

Medicine and Toxicology; Kamran Aghakhani, Associate Professor of Forensic 

Medicine and Toxicology; Iran University of Medical Sciences, Hazrat Rasoul Akram 

Hospital, Tehran, Iran 



Correspondence: Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Iran University 

of Medical Sciences, Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital, Niayesh Street, Sattar-Khan 

Ave, Postal code: 1445613131, Tehran, Iran. Fax: +98 (0)21 66517118; email: 

sanaeizadeh@gmail.com

  

Reference: 

1.  Battle WH. Three lectures on some points relating to injuries to the head. The Lancet. 

1890;1:57–63.  

 

 



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