Any objective evidence of disease, as opposed to a symptom, which is, by nature, subjective. For example, gross blood in the stool is a sign of disease; it is evidence that can be recognized by the patient, physician, nurse, or someone else. Abdominal pain is a symptom; it is something only the patient can perceive.
- Sign, Babinski
Joseph Francois Felix Babinski (1857-1932). His name will never be forgotten in medicine, thanks to the Babinski sign.
- Sign, Gottron
A scaly, patchy redness over the knuckles seen in patients with dermatomyositis, an inflammatory muscle disorder. (See polymyositis).
- Sign, Kernig
A clinical hallmark of meningitis, inflammation of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The test for Kernig sign is done by having the person lie supine (flat on the back), flex the thigh so that it is at a right angle to the trunk, and completely extend the leg at the […]
- Sign, Lhermitte
“Looking down to sign a hotel register, I felt a spasm like an electric current move along my back from the base of my skull to my toes. Every time I repeated the movement, the spasm recurred.” The causes of Lhermitte sign include multiple sclerosis (MS), radiation damage to the spinal cord), cervical spondylosis (degeneration […]
- Sign, Macewen
A sign to detect hydrocephalus and brain abscess. Percussion (tapping) on the skull at a particular spot (near the junction of the frontal, temporal and parietal bones) yields an unusually resonant sound in the presence of hydrocephalus or a brain abscess. Named for Sir William Macewen (1848-1924), a surgeon in Glascow, Scotland who also described […]