Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-1

Date: Latest Version

Battle’s Sign


Periauricular or mastoid ecchymosis


Named after English surgeon, Dr. William Henry Battle, this is a clinical symptom suggestive of basilar skull/middle cranial fossa fracture. After blunt force head trauma, leaking of blood from the blood vessels in the skull, typically the posterior auricular artery, leads to a crescent-shaped bruise wrapping behind the base of the earlobe and extending posteriorly toward the point of the neck where the base of the skull meets the neck. A patient with this symptom may present with acute bloody discharge of the ear and/or nose. Battle’s sign may occur a few days following the onset of the skull fracture.


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