Brudzinski's sign occurs in meningitis (of any etiology) or meningism where passive flexion of a patient's neck elicits reflexive bilateral knee and hip flexion; it was originally known as the "nape of the neck sign" and was one of several physical exam maneuvers concurrently described to be characteristic of meningitis.
Along with Kernig's sign, which is often concurrently sought, it demonstrates poor sensitivity but moderately high specificity for the presence of meningeal inflammation 3.
First described by Jósef Brudziñski (1874-1917), pediatrician from Warsaw, Poland 2.
- 1. Lee, k. Essential Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 9th Ed. McGraw-Hill co. 2008
- 2. J. Brudziñski: Über die kontralateralen Reflexe an den unteren Extremitäten bei Kindern. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 1908, 8: 255-261.
- 3. Mehndiratta M, Nayak R, Garg H, Kumar M, Pandey S. Appraisal of Kernig's and Brudzinski's sign in meningitis. (2012) Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. 15 (4): 287-8. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.104337 - Pubmed