Thursday, September 22, 2016


I can't believe I've written 9 years of cases, almost a thousand of them, and didn't get to this one. This is the the kind of medical trivia I like.

You pump this blood pressure cuff on the arm of a patient to 200mmHg. The phone rings and you go and answer it. The BP cuff is left inflated for three minutes, and the patient begins having adduction of the thumb, flexion of the MCP joints, extension of the IP joints, and flexion of the wrist.

In addition, when you tap the patient just anterior of the ear, she gets contraction of the ipsilateral facial muscles.

Challenge: What's going on? What two signs are described above?

Image is in the public domain.


Brad pat said...

Chvostek/Trousseau's signs as seen in hypocalcemia or #internyear

Anonymous said...

Hypocalcemia? Trousseau's sign (carpopedal spasm) and Chvostek's sign?

Anonymous said...

Chvostek sign and Trousseau sign...Signs of hypocalcemia

Craig Chen said...

haha love the #hashtag. nice job!

The first sign is Trousseau’s sign (carpopedal spasm), and the second sign is Chvostek’s sign. Both are seen with hypocalcemia causing neuromuscular irritability due to latent tetany.

Sources: UpToDate; Wikipedia.