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December 1934

PARAPLEGIA OF PREGNANCY (SUBACUTE COMBINED DEGENERATION OF THE CORD)A Clinicopathologic Study

Author Affiliations

Professor of Neurology; Resident in Neuropsychiatry

CHICAGO

From the Neurologic Service, Research and Educational Hospital, and the Division of Neuropathology, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1934;32(6):1273-1281. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250120150012
Abstract

Of the neuropsychiatric episodes of pregnancy, the best known are the psychoses. Aside from accidental cerebral complications (hemorrhage, thrombosis, embolism), disturbances of the central or peripheral nervous system proper, that is, pure organic nerve lesions, are relatively rare. For the most part the lesions are in the peripheral nerves and are classified either as pressure neuritis—that is, they result from pressure by the pregnant uterus on the sacral plexus—or as polyneuritis. Lesions of the spinal cord are uncommon. According to Hösslin,1 who enumerated nearly every conceivable disease of the spinal cord as a possible direct or indirect complication of pregnancy, the most frequent form seems to be "transverse" or "compression" myelitis. However, neither Hösslin nor later observers (Berkwitz and Lufkin,2 for instance) described subacute combined degeneration of the cord as a complication of pregnancy, regardless of the fact that pregnancy is frequently associated with anemia. So far as

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