Lend me your ear: Frank’s sign as a non-invasive method of vascular disease risk assessment
1 Department of Nephrology, Transplantology and Internal Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
2 Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Medicine with an English Programme, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Correspondence: Krzysztof Pabisiak, Department of Nephrology, Transplantology and Internal Medicine, Powstańców Wielkopolskich 72, 70-111 Szczecin, Poland, tel./fax: +48 91 466 11 96, e-mail: bkpn@pum.edu.pl
Pediatr Med Rodz 2017, 13 (4), p. 572–576
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2017.0062
ABSTRACT

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of unfitness for work and mortality in Polish people. The recommendations of all scientific associations emphasise the key role of primary prevention of diseases of affluence; however, demographic forecasts and the actual data concerning prevention do not indicate any trend for reduced morbidity and mortality in Poland. The article discusses Frank’s sign (earlobe crease), which appears on the earlobe in the fifth or sixth decade of life and correlates with atherosclerosis-related vascular diseases. The article presents the most important epidemiological data, description of the sign as well as important information from the literature on this simple physical assessment for the diagnosis of atherosclerosis-related vascular diseases. Checking whether the patient has Frank’s sign is a non-invasive and cost-free diagnostic tool for screening for atherosclerosis complications. Sensitivity of 62% indicates a chance for early detection of ischaemic heart disease in the asymptomatic population.

Keywords: earlobe crease, Frank’s sign, vascular disease, atherosclerosis