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Westphal's sign

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Westphal's sign

Westphal's sign is the clinical correlate of the absence or decrease of patellar reflex or knee jerk. Patellar reflex or knee jerk is a kind of deep or stretch reflex where an application of a stimulus to the patellar tendon such as strike by a solid object or hammer caused the leg to extend due to such stimulus causes the quadriceps femoris muscle to contract.

It is named for Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833-1890).

Associated conditions

Westphal's sign has a clinical significance used in determining neurodisorders or diseases such as:

  • receptor damage, peripheral nerve disease, involving the dorsal(sensory) columns of the spinal cord and cerebellar lesions
  • lesions present within the motor cortex of the brain or the pyramidal tracts which it combined with muscular spasms
  • complete interruption of sensory and/or motor impulse transmission in the femoral nerve
  • References

    Westphal's sign Wikipedia

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