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December 1925


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Illinois College of Medicine CHICAGO

From the Neurological Service of Cook County Hospital, Chicago.

Arch NeurPsych. 1925;14(6):813-818. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200180084010

Hypertrichosis over a dimpled area in any region of the vertebral column is suggestive of spina bifida occulta. It is considered almost pathognomonic for those types of spina bifida in which a protruding cystic tumor is absent. The hairy area usually covers a defect in the vertebra in the form of an absent or split spinous process, a cleft in the arch of the vertebra, or, as Beck 1 asserts, even a mere depression in the spinous process.

Some even go so far as to include with spina bifida occulta conditions in which the anomaly is not in the bony structures, but presumably in the spinal cord itself. On purely clinical grounds, Fuchs2 has described such conditions as myelodysplasia. He considers spina bifida occulta as the most severe form or stage of what he terms myelodysplasia. Few cases of the latter are mentioned in the literature. Spiller3 recently