What’s in a node? The clinical and radiologic significance of Virchow’s node

Cameron Adler, Meghan G. Lubner, Christine O. Menias, Sam J. Lubner, Nirvikar Dahiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In 1848, Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow described an association of left supraclavicular lymphadenopathy with abdominal malignancy. The left supraclavicular lymph node later became commonly referred to as Virchow’s node. Charles-Emile Troisier went on to describe the physical exam finding of an enlarged left supraclavicular lymph node, later termed Troisier’s sign. Subsequent studies confirmed a predilection of abdominal and pelvic malignancies to preferentially metastasize to the left supraclavicular node. Identification of a pathologically enlarged left supraclavicular node raises the suspicion for abdominopelvic malignancy, particularly in the absence of right supraclavicular lymphadenopathy, and provides a safe and easy target for biopsy. Supraclavicular lymph nodes also represent a great target for diagnosis of metastatic thoracic malignancies, although thoracic malignancies can involve either right or left supraclavicular nodes and do not show a predilection for either. This article presents a review of the history, anatomy, pathophysiology, clinical significance, radiological appearance, and biopsy of Virchow’s node. Key points are illustrated with relevant cases. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2244-2253
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Biopsy
  • Imaging
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Radiology
  • Supraclavicular
  • Virchow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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