Irritation of the meningeal layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord with neck stiffness.

Refers to rigidity of the neck with forward flexion of the neck in a patient in the supine position.

Causes include: infection, bleeding from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and tonsillar herniation, so that infectious meningitis cannot be presumed to be the only possibility.

Has a 70% sensitivity for detecting meningitis.

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