Indications

Naffzinger’s test is a cervical spine examination procedure that tests for nerve root compression wherein the intrathecal pressure and the intraspinal fluid pressure are increased by bilateral manual compression of the jugular veins. Pain found along the area where the peripheral nerve is distributed could indicate a lesion or mass along the cervical spine.

Procedure

Patient should be awake and cooperative to during a Naffzinger’s test.

  1. Patient should be seated while this test being done.
  2. The examiner is at the patient’s back and applies bilateral pressure over the jugular veins for ~30 seconds.
  3. The examiner tells the patient to cough and takes note of any pain.

Examiner applies bilateral pressure over the jugular veins.

Interpretation

Positive Naffzinger’s Test

There is a positive Naffzinger’s test when there is pain noted along the distribution of a peripheral nerve. This could indicate the presence of a lesion found along the cervical spine near the brachial plexus.

Clinical Notes

The Naffzinger’s Test is contraindicated in patients with compromised vascular systems. This is common in geriatric patients with atherosclerosis.