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Romberg's sign (Moritz Heinrich Romberg)

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A sign of static ataxia in tabes dorsalis. The patient cannot maintain the body balance when standing with feet together and eyes closed. The sign is positive if the patient sways and falls when the eyes are closed. Falling is often to the same side.


  • M. H. von Romberg:
    Tabes dorsalis. In his Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten des Menschen.
    Berlin, 1846; volume I, page 795.
    English translation by the Sydenham Society, London, 1853. With Romberg’s classic remark on the phenomenon:
    “Lässt man ihn in aufrechter Stellung die Augen schliessen, so fängt er sofort an zu schwanken und zu taumeln . . .”

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