Vascular Malformation of the Spinal Cord

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The occurrence of vascular malformations and vascular tumors of the spinal cord is perhaps sufficiently infrequent and interesting to justify the recording and discussion of a case which is unique in the experience of the writer. Most neurologists, through the writings of Lindau, Cushing, Bailey, Dandy, Olivecrona, and others, have become familiar with these conditions in the brain. However, except for single case reports or reports of small groups of cases, there has been no attempt until recent years to make a comprehensive study and classification of these vascular abnormalities of the spinal cord.

In 1941, O. A. Turner and J. W. Kernohan1 reported a pathologic study of 46 cases of vascular malformations and tumors of the cord. In 1944 Wyburn-Mason2 published a monograph entitled The Vascular Abnormalities and Tumors of the Spinal Cord and Its Membranes in which he presented a classification of these conditions, thoroughly discussed each type, and added 57 cases to the literature. A very complete bibliography has been included in his book. Prior to 1941 he had found only 140 cases in the literature. His classification is as follows:

  1. Abnormalities

    1. Venous abnormalities

      1. Secondary venous abnormalities, that is, those occurring below a tumor of the cord or associated with arachnoiditis or calcification of the cord.

      2. Angioma racemosum venosum, that is, extensive venous varicosities affecting the pia and central regions of the cord.

    2. Arterio-venous angioma

    3. Arterial anomalies

      1. Associated with congenital heart disease.

      2. Alone.

    4. Syphilitic aneurysm of the spinal. . .



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