- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Haenel's sign

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A symptom in bulbus oculi seen in approximately half of cases of advanced or chronic tabes dorsalis: absence of pain on pressure applied to the eye in the late stage of neurosyphilis.

Viscerosensory derangement with an increase in pain sensation may be felt by pressure on the globe of the eye during the early period of tabes dorsalis. Conversely, the absence of pain on firm pressure over the eyeballs described as Haenel’s syndrome, may serve as a diagnostic criterion in the late or chronic stage of this form of neurosyphilis.


  • H. Haenel:
    Ein neues Tabessymptom. Neurologisches Zentralblatt, Leipzig, 1909, 28: 1199.

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