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Hennebert sign (inner ear)

The Hennebert sign describes a positive fistula test without clinical evidence of middle ear or mastoid disease. It is associated with congenital syphilis and may also be present in Ménière disease.

It has been postulated that the vestibular stimulation is mediated by fibrous bands between footplate of stapes and the vestibular membranous labyrinth. Another explanation is that the vestibular response is due to an excessively mobile footplate.

Nystagmus associated with Hennebert sign is usually more marked when negative pressure is applied.

History and etymology

Camille Hennebert (1867–1954), was a Belgian otolaryngologist who originally noted the sign in cases of congenital syphilis 2.

Article information

rID: 6886
System: Head & Neck
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hennebert's sign

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