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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1999 Apr 17;143(16):848-51.

[Physical diagnostics--tendon reflexes].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Afd. Neurologie, Academisch Medisch Centrum/Universiteit van Amsterdam.


Clinical examination of the tendon reflexes is helpful in localising lesions in the nervous system, which is an important step in the diagnosis of neurological disorders. The large intra- and interindividual variations of reflex amplitudes make interpretation difficult. Published interobserver agreement studies provide conflicting results. The diagnostic specificity of unequivocally abnormal reflexes is moderate to good (70-95%, decreasing with increasing age), but the sensitivity is lower (50-70%), both for peripheral and for central lesions. This implies that the finding of a clearly abnormal reflex pattern is often helpful, but the finding of normal reflexes usually does not exclude a neurological lesion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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