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Tongue Deviation

August 19th, 2017


  • How to Elicit

  • Ask the patient to protrude their tongue, and then move it to either side.
  • Interpretation

  • Deviation to the left - suggests a lesion of the left hypoglossal (XII) nerve or higher
  • Deviation to the right - suggests a lesion of the right hypoglossal (XII) nerve or higher
  • Causes of Tongue Deviation

  • Contralateral upper motor neuron lesion - trauma, tumour, ischaemia, demyelination
  • Ipsilateral hypoglossal (XII) nerve palsy - trauma, infarction, haemorrhage, demyelination
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Trauma
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