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Rev Neurol. 2000 Apr 1-15;30(7):649-51.

[Lhermitte's sign in three oncological patients].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, España. mporta@caminos.recol.es

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Lhermitte's sign was first described by Pierre Marie and Chatelin in 1917. Lhermitte published his report in 1920 and reviewed this in 1924. This phenomenon is characterized by the occurrence of an electric shock-like sensation going along the spine in a cervico-caudal direction with flexion of the neck, and may also be felt in the upper and lower limbs. Clinical cases. Case 1. A 49 year-old woman diagnosed as having breast cancer and being treated with cisplatin presented with Lhermitte's sign. On physical examination the osteotendinous reflexes were absent but the abdominal cutaneous reflexes were present. There was reduced sensitivity to vibration. Case 2. An 80 year-old man, previously operated on for adenocarcinoma of the colon, without further treatment, presented with progressive weakness of all four limbs and Lhermitte's syndrome. On examination there was obvious weakness of all four limbs, with the sensory level at C3. A cervical MR scan showed a metastasis in the vertebral body of C3 with epidural involvement and compression of the spinal cord. Case 3. A 54 year-old man was being treated by radiotherapy for cancer of the larynx. He presented at the onset of Lhermitte's sign but MR and physical examination were normal.

CONCLUSION:

Lhermitte's sign is non-specific, although in oncological patients a detailed clinical history and examination should be done seeking data regarding chemotherapy, radiotherapy and spinal compression.

PMID:
10859744
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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