Other Known Aliases – none
Definition – forced flexion of the neck causes a reflex flexion of the hips
Clinical Significance – This maneuver is due to meningeal irritation and inflammation and can be seen in meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and encephalitis. It is one of the two classic physical examination signs for bacterial meningitis, but does not have robust sensitivity nor specificity for the disease. It is now relegated to historical context.
History – Named after Józef Polikarp Brudiński (1874-1917), who was a Polish pediatrician and received his medical doctorate from the University of Moscow in 1897. He practiced at the Anne-Marie children’s hospital in Lodz and was a guiding figure in turning this institution into a model teaching hospital. In 1910, he then was able to design a children’s hospital in Warsaw with financial backing from philanthropist Sophie Szlenker. During this transition period, he also founded the first Polish journal of pediatrics. He best known for his work in pediatric infectious diseases and has his name attributed to several other physical examination findings in meningitis. His most famous was first described and published in 1909 in The Medical Archives for Infants.
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- J. Brudziñski. Un signe nouveau sur les membres inférieurs dans les méningites chez les enfants (signe de la nuque). Archives de médecine des enfants, Paris 1909, 12: 745-752.