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July 1918

A CLINICAL CONSIDERATION OF MACEWEN'S SIGN: ESPECIALLY WITH REFERENCE TO ITS USE IN POLIOMYELITIS

Author Affiliations

BROOKLYN
From the Kingston Avenue Contagious Disease Hospital, Department of Health, New York City.

Am J Dis Child. 1918;16(1):13-22. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1918.01910130020002
Abstract

In a previous article1 on the hydrocephalus of poliomyelitis we frequently referred to Macewen's sign and endeavored to emphasize its importance in the detection of this condition. The great clinical importance of the sign, its ever widening field of applicability, its relative certainty as an index of the existence of acute hydrocephalus, the simplicity of the methods for its detection and the absence of any detailed description of it in our present day treatises on physical diagnosis were the incentives to the writing of the present paper. The classical description of Macewen will be first summarized, the later study of the subject by Wilcox will be reviewed, and an endeavor will be made further to establish the value of the sign in physical diagnosis.

Macewen of Edinburgh first described the sign. He employed it in the diagnosis of brain tumor and abscess over a period of ten years and

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