What is the Trousseau sign in patients with hypocalcemia?

Updated: Aug 08, 2019
  • Author: Manish Suneja, MD, FASN, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Test for the Trousseau sign by placing a blood pressure cuff on the patient’s arm and inflating to 20 mm Hg above systolic blood pressure for 3-5 minutes. This increases the irritability of the nerves, and a flexion of the wrist and metacarpal phalangeal joints can be observed with extension of the interphalangeal joints and adduction of the thumb (carpal spasm). The Trousseau sign is more specific than the Chvostek sign but has incomplete sensitivity.


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