How is a tonic neck reflex performed in the evaluation of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Answer

A tonic neck reflex is performed by turning the patient's head to one side. The patient demonstrates arm and leg extension on the side to which the head is turned and flexion on the opposite side (fencer's posture). The tonic neck reflex posture should go away after several seconds, and its persistence is a sign of cortical dysfunction.


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