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December 1973

Lhermitte Sign Following Head Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Anderson is now Officer-in-Charge, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke Research Center, Tamuning, Guam.

Arch Neurol. 1973;29(6):437-438. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490300099015

Lhermitte sign, an electric-like sensation in limbs and trunk elicited by neck flexion, often can be an omen of chronic progressive neurological disease. Three patients are reported in whom this symptom was benign and transient. These patients, and some reported by others, met all of the following criteria: (1) history of recent cranial trauma; (2) delay of weeks to months between trauma and onset of the symptom; (3) normal neurological examination results; (4) no history of neurological symptoms prior to trauma; (5) normal cervical spine x-ray films, including flexion and extension views; (6) disappearance of symptoms within a few months. We suggest that these patients should be treated conservatively and spared cervical myelography.

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