Woldemar Kernig

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Woldemar Kernig
File:Woldemar Kernig (ca. 1910).jpg
Born June 28, 1840
Liepāja, Latvia Latvia
Died April 18, 1917
St. Petersburg, Russia
Citizenship Russian Empire
Fields internal medicine, neurology
Institutions Obuchow Hospital in St. Petersburg
Alma mater University of Tartu
Known for The Kernig's sign, which may indicate subarachnoid haemorrhage or meningitis

Woldemar Kernig, better known as Vladimir Mikhailovich Kernig (Latvian: Voldemārs Kernigs; Russian: Владимир Михайлович Керниг; June 28, 1840 in Liepāja – April 18, 1917 in St. Petersburg) was a notable Russian and Baltic German internist and neurologist whose medical discoveries saved thousands of people with meningitis. He is best known for his pioneering work on diagnostics. Kernig's sign is named after him.

Kernig's sign

In Kernig's original 1882 publication, he wrote that in patients with meningitis who are seated upright with hips and knees flexed, extending the knee beyond 135 degrees would be painful. Today patients are put into a supine position instead of being seated upright.[1]

See also


  1. Saberi, Asif; Syed, Saeed A. (July 1999). "Meningeal Signs: Kernig’s Sign and Brudzinski’s Sign" (PDF). Hospital Physician. Wayne, PA: Turner White Communications: 23–24. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 


  • Über Milzabscesse nach Febris recurrens. St. Petersburger medicinische Zeitschrift, 1867, XII.
  • Über subfebrile Zustände von erheblicher Dauer. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1879, XXIV.
  • Über ein krankheitssymptom der acuten meningitis. St. Petersburger Medizinische Woschenschrift, 1882;7:398
  • Vorläufiger Bericht über die in der Frauenabteilung des Obuchow-Hospitals nach Koch’scher Methode behandelten Schwindsüchtigen. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1891, XVI.
  • Über subcutane Injectionen an den Lungenspitzen ohne pathologische Veränderungen an denselben. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1898; XXXIV.
  • Bericht über die mit Tuberculin R im Obuchow-Frauenhospital behandelten Lungenkranken. St. Petersburger medicinische Wochenschrift, 1898; XXIII.

Further reading

  • M. Welz, A. Lindner. Vladimir Kernig (1840–1917). Der Nervenarzt 2003;74:935-936 (German)
  • M Krasnianski, P Tacik, T Müller, S Zierz. Attenuation of Kernig’s sign by concomitant hemiparesis: forgotten aspects of a well known clinical test. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 2007;78:1413-1414

External links