Furstenberg sign

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 25 Nov 2022

Furstenberg sign is a clinical feature of masses of the head that communicate with the intracranial compartment. Due to this connection, an increase in intracranial pressure will result in bulging or swelling of the mass. This can occur spontaneously during crying or can be elicited with a Valsalva maneuver or compression of the internal jugular veins 1.

This is a helpful clinical sign to distinguish frontoethmoidal encephaloceles and meningoceles, both of which will enlarge (Furstenberg positive), from other midline nasal masses such as nasal dermoids or nasal gliomas for example, neither of which will enlarge 1,2.

History and etymology

The sign is almost certainly named after Albert C. Furstenberg (1890-1969), Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Michigan Medical School 3.

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