Osler's sign (pseudohypertension)

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The Osler's sign of pseudohypertension is an artificially and falsely elevated blood pressure reading obtained through sphygmomanometry due to arteriosclerotic, calcified blood vessels which do not physiologically compress with pressure.

Because the stiffened arterial walls of arteriosclerosis do not compress with pressure normally, the blood pressure reading is theoretically higher than the true intra-arterial measurement.

To perform the test, one first inflates the blood pressure cuff above systolic pressure to obliterate the radial pulse. One then attempts to palpate the radial artery, a positive test is if it remains palpable as a firm "tube"

It can indicate pseudohypertension.[1] It occurs frequently in the elderly irrespective of them being hypertensive, and has moderate to modest intraobserver and interobserver agreement. [2]It is also known as "Osler's maneuver".[3][4]

The sign is named for William Osler.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE MERCK MANUAL OF GERIATRICS, Ch. 85, Hypertension". Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  2. ^ Physical Diagnosis Secrets. Second Edition. Salvatore Mangione, MD
  3. ^ Messerli FH (May 1986). "Osler's maneuver, pseudohypertension, and true hypertension in the elderly". Am. J. Med. 80 (5): 906–10. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(86)90636-4. PMID 2939716. 
  4. ^ Belmin J, Visintin JM, Salvatore R, Sebban C, Moulias R (January 1995). "Osler's maneuver: absence of usefulness for the detection of pseudohypertension in an elderly population". Am. J. Med. 98 (1): 42–9. doi:10.1016/S0002-9343(99)80079-5. PMID 7825617.