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J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Sep;20(9):1204-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.09.047. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

The origin of Woltman's sign of myxoedema.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Woltman's sign of myxoedema, named after Henry Woltman in 1956, is the delayed relaxation phase of the muscle stretch reflex in patients with myxoedema. Although a change in these reflexes was mentioned as being clinically evident possibly as early as the 1870s, no formal description was published until 1924 when William Calvert Chaney objectively quantified the change. Woltman was involved in training Chaney, and it has been proposed that he guided Chaney's study of these reflexes. Despite the attachment of Woltman's name to the eponym, little evidence exists that directly links him to the first objective study of the muscle stretch reflex in myxoedema performed by Chaney.


Abnormal reflex; Eponyms; History; Myxoedema; Neurology

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