Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)


The Barrés test and Mingazzini test
-Importance of the original paper by Giovanni Mingazzini-

Genjiro Hirose, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Neurological Center, Asanogawa General Hospital

In order to find a subtle hemiparesis of the arms and legs, so called "Barré's test" has been routinely used in clinical practice. This eponym has been questioned by several neurologists. To clarify this, I searched and found the original paper by Giovanni Mingazzini, reported in Revue Neurologique in 1913. He showed arm drift test with his original photo, as asking the patient to stretch his arms in front, hands in the same horizontal plane with the manner of swearing and the fingers spread. The eyes are closed. The examiner observes downward drift of the hand after one half to a minute. He described a similar test for the legs in this article. The patient in supine position raises the legs in a 45 degree angle from the bed. If the leg drops downward too early, an organic hemiparesis could be present. Barré described a new leg drift test in 1919 with a patient lying on the abdomen. He also presented the Mingazzini's arm and leg tests with photos as carried by his patient-models in his article of 1937. He did not quote the original article of Mingazzini as a reference. These brought us incorrect information to consider the presence of Barré's arm test.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (1333K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 55: 455|458, 2015)
key words: Mingazzini's arm test, Mingazzini's leg test, Barré's test

(Received: 12-Dec-14)