The undulating toe flexion sign in brain death

Nancy Lynn McNair, K. J. Meador

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brain‐dead patients may exhibit gross spontaneous and reflex movements (e.g., Babinski sign, sterotypic flexion of one or more limbs, and Lazarus sign). We report three brain‐dead patients who had unusual complex sequential movements of the toes. Undulating toe flexion was elicited by noxious stimuli to the lower extremities, and consisted of initial plantar flexion of the great toe, followed by sequential brief plantar flexion of the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes. The undulating toe flexion sign differs from previously described responses characterized by plantar flexion of the toes (e.g., Rosselimo's sign and the Mendel‐Bechterew sign) in that it consists of complex patterned sequential movements of the digits rather than brief simultaneous flexion and/or fanning of the toes. Neurologists should be aware of this unusual finding, which should not preclude the diagnosis of brain death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-347
Number of pages3
JournalMovement Disorders
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Fingerprint

Brain Death
Toes
Babinski's Reflex
Hallux
Reflex
Lower Extremity
Extremities

Keywords

  • Brain death
  • Spinal reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

The undulating toe flexion sign in brain death. / McNair, Nancy Lynn; Meador, K. J.

In: Movement Disorders, Vol. 7, No. 4, 01.01.1992, p. 345-347.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McNair, Nancy Lynn ; Meador, K. J. / The undulating toe flexion sign in brain death. In: Movement Disorders. 1992 ; Vol. 7, No. 4. pp. 345-347.
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