More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Regarding the clinical diagnosis of the monotopical spinal forms of multiple sclerosis. The value of the fan sign in the adult

Rev Neurol 2001 Dec 1;33(11):1046-8
Barraquer Bordas L.


We wish to discuss the value of the clinical history and examination in orientation of the diagnosis of probable multiple sclerosis (MS).


We report the two year study of a woman who over the previous ten years had had three episodes of paraesthesia, with pins and needles in her left leg and other parts of the left side of her body, although never affecting head or neck. She also complained of tiring more than usual. In an outpatient clinic she was found to have a syndrome affecting the upper segments of the spinal cord, mainly involving the right side and resembling an incomplete Brown Sequard type syndrome. There were increased clinical muscle and deep reflexes. The most marked was that of the right deltoid (C5), bilateral fanning of the toes when the Babinski reflex was tested, Barre positive in the right leg, pins and needles and dysaesthesia on the left to an undetermined level. Function was well preserved when compared with the clinical signs found. The case was considered to be of monotopical MS. Spinal magnetic resonance findings confirmed the clinical diagnosis.


We emphasise the value of careful clinical investigation directed towards the diagnosis of probable MS. We draw attention to the diagnostic value of the dissociation between the severe clinical alterations and the functional performance, which was surprisingly well maintained. Also we report the originality of the presence of bilateral fanning sign supporting the diagnosis of MS, occurring in a disease of adult life.