Neonatal plantar response revisited
Version of Record online: 30 JUL 2003
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 349–351, July 2003
How to Cite
Gupta, A. and Gupta, P. (2003), Neonatal plantar response revisited. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 39: 349–351. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2003.00172.x
- Issue online: 30 JUL 2003
- Version of Record online: 30 JUL 2003
- Accepted for publication 10 November 2002.
- plantar response
Objective: To evaluate plantar response in the early neonatal period in normal, term, healthy newborn infants. This was a prospective study set in the postnatal ward of a tertiary care hospital.
Methods: The plantar response was elicited in 256 healthy, term, appropriate-for-gestational-age neonates during their first 7 days of life, utilizing the thumb-nail-drag method. The response was tested daily at intervals of 24 h, until the neonate was discharged. A total of 597 observations were made, and the responses were classified as extensor, flexor or equivocal.
Results: The overall plantar response was found to be predominantly extensor (73.8%), followed by equivocal (17.3%) and, finally, flexor (8.9%). The plantar response was bilaterally extensor in 72.5%, bilaterally equivocal in 14.2%, and bilaterally flexor in 7.7% of observations, respectively. Asymmetrical plantar response was elicited in 5.4% of observations. No difference was observed in individual categories based on age (<12 h, 12.1−24 h, 24.1−72 h, 72.1 h−7 days) and site of response (right/left foot).
Conclusion: The plantar response in healthy, term neonates is predominantly extensor. Further, the relatively high frequency of asymmetrical and symmetrical flexor responses limits its clinical usefulness in the early neonatal period.