Student Nurse Laura

Orem – "creative effort of one human being to help another human being."

What’s your sign?

Posted by Laura on December 5, 2010


When looking up Macewn’s sign, I found all these sign definitions at

Abadie’s sign insensibility of the Achilles tendon to pressure in tabes dorsalis.
Babinski sign 

1. loss or lessening of the triceps surae reflex in organic sciatica.
2. see under reflex.
3. in organic hemiplegia, failure of the platysma muscle to contract on the affected side in opening the mouth, whistling, etc.
4. in organic hemiplegia, flexion of the thigh and lifting of the heel from the ground when the patient tries to sit up from a supine position with arms crossed upon chest.
5. in organic paralysis, when the affected forearm is placed in supination, it turns over to pronation.
Beevor’s sign 

1. in functional paralysis, inability to inhibit the antagonistic muscles.
2. in paralysis of the lower abdominal muscles due to a spinal cord lesion in the region of the lower thoracic vertebrae, there is upward excursion of the umbilicus on attempting to lift the head.
Bergman’s sign in urologic radiography, (a) the ureter is dilated immediately below a neoplasm, rather than collapsed as below an obstructing stone, and (b) the ureteral catheter tends to coil in this dilated portion of the ureter.
Biernacki’s sign analgesia of the ulnar nerve in general paresis and tabes dorsalis.
Blumberg’s sign pain on abrupt release of steady pressure (rebound tenderness) over the site of a suspected abdominal lesion, indicative of peritonitis.
Branham’s sign bradycardia produced by digital closure of an artery proximal to an arteriovenous fistula.
Braxton Hicks’ sign see under contraction.
Broadbent’s sign retraction on the left side of the back, near the eleventh and twelfth ribs, related to pericardial adhesion.
Brudzinski sign 

1. in meningitis, flexion of the neck usually causes flexion of the hip and knee.
2. in meningitis, on passive flexion of one lower limb, the contralateral limb shows a similar movement.
Chaddock’s sign see under reflex.
Chadwick sign a dark blue to purplish-red congested appearance of the vaginal mucosa, an indication of pregnancy.
Chvostek sign , Chvostek-Weiss sign spasm of the facial muscles elicited by tapping the facial nerve in the region of the parotid gland; seen in tetany.
Cullen sign bluish discoloration around the umbilicus sometimes associated with intraperitoneal hemorrhage, especially after rupture of the uterine tube in ectopic pregnancy; similar discoloration occurs in acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.
Dalrymple sign abnormal wideness of the palpebral opening in Graves’ disease.
Delbet’s sign in aneurysm of a limb’s main artery, if nutrition of the part distal to the aneurysm is maintained despite absence of the pulse, collateral circulation is sufficient.
de Musset’s sign Musset’s s.
Ewart’s sign bronchial breathing and dullness on percussion at the lower angle of the left scapula in pericardial effusion.
fabere sign see Patrick’s test.
Friedreich’s sign diastolic collapse of the cervical veins due to adhesion of the pericardium.
Goodell’s sign softening of the cervix; a sign of pregnancy.
Gorlin’s sign the ability to touch the tip of the nose with the tongue, often a sign of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Graefe’s sign tardy or jerky downward movement of the upper eyelids when the gaze is directed downward; noted in thyrotoxicosis.
halo sign a halo effect produced in the radiograph of the fetal head between the subcutaneous fat and the cranium; said to be indicative of intrauterine death of the fetus.
harlequin sign reddening of the lower half of the laterally recumbent body and blanching of the upper half, due to temporary vasomotor disturbance in newborn infants.
Hegar’s sign softening of the lower uterine segment; indicative of pregnancy.
Hoffmann’s sign 

1. increased mechanical irritability of the sensory nerves in tetany; the ulnar nerve is usually tested.
2. a sudden nipping of the nail of the index, middle, or ring finger produces flexion of the terminal phalanx of the thumb and of the second and third phalanges of some other finger.
Homans’ sign discomfort behind the knee on forced dorsiflexion of the foot, due to thrombosis in the calf veins.
Hoover’s sign 

1. in the normal state or in true paralysis, when the supine patient presses the leg against the surface on which he is lying, the other leg will lift.
2. movement of the costal margins toward the midline in inhalation, bilaterally in pulmonary emphysema and unilaterally in conditions causing flattening of the diaphragm.
Joffroy’s sign in Graves’ disease, absence of forehead wrinkling when the gaze is suddenly directed upward.
Kernig’s sign in meningitis, inability to completely extend the leg when sitting or lying with the thigh flexed upon the abdomen; when in dorsal decubitus position, the leg can be easily and completely extended.
Klippel-Weil sign in pyramidal tract disease, flexion and adduction of the thumb when the flexed fingers are quickly extended by the examiner.
Lasègue’s sign in sciatica, flexion of the hip is painful when the knee is extended, but painless when the knee is flexed.
Léri’s sign absence of normal flexion of the elbow on passive flexion of the hand at the wrist of the affected side in hemiplegia.
Lhermitte’s sign electric-like shocks spreading down the body on flexing the head forward; seen mainly in multiple sclerosis but also in compression and other cervical cord disorders.
Macewen’s sign a more than normal resonant note on percussion of the skull behind the junction of the frontal, temporal, and parietal bones in internal hydrocephalus and cerebral abscess.
McMurray sign occurrence of a cartilage click on manipulation of the knee; indicative of meniscal injury.
Möbius’ sign in Graves’ disease, inability to keep the eyes converged due to insufficiency of the internal rectus muscles.
Musset’s sign rhythmical jerking of the head in aortic aneurysm and aortic insufficiency.
Nikolsky’s sign in pemphigus vulgaris and some other bullous diseases, the outer epidermis separates easily from the basal layer on exertion of firm sliding manual pressure.
Oliver sign tracheal tugging; see tugging.
Oppenheim sign see under reflex.
Queckenstedt’s sign when the veins in the neck are compressed on one or both sides in healthy persons, there is a rapid rise in the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid, which then returns quickly to normal when compression ceases. In obstruction of the vertebral canal, the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid is little or not at all affected.
Romberg’s sign swaying of the body or falling when the eyes are closed while standing with the feet close together; observed in tabes dorsalis.
Rossolimo’s sign see under reflex.
setting-sun sign downward deviation of the eyes so that each iris appears to “set” beneath the lower lid, with white sclera exposed between it and the upper lid; indicative of increased intracranial pressure or irritation of the brain stem.
Stellwag’s sign infrequent or incomplete blinking, a sign of Graves’ disease.
string of beads sign a series of rounded shapes resembling a string of beads on a radiograph of the small intestine, indicating bubbles of trapped gas within the fluid of an obstructed and distended bowel.
Tinel’s sign a tingling sensation in the distal end of a limb when percussion is made over the site of a divided nerve. It indicates a partial lesion or the beginning regeneration of the nerve.
Trousseau’s sign tache cérébrale.
vital signs the pulse, respiration, and temperature.

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