Investigation of the therapeutic value of "forced spinal drainage" (the so-called Retan technic) has been made by Kramer and his colleagues1 of the Bureau of Laboratories, Michigan Department of Health. They have applied this method of treatment to experimental poliomyelitis in monkeys and report negative results.
In 1919 Weed and McKibben2 showed that in laboratory animals intravenous injection of large volumes of hypotonic salt solution is followed by a prolonged and profound increase in cerebrospinal pressure associated with distention of the perivascular and perineural spaces. Kubie3 of the New York Neurological Institute afterward found that this increased pressure and hydration can be prevented by a parallel release of cerebrospinal fluid through lumbar or cistern puncture. He suggested the possible therapeutic value of "forced spinal drainage" brought about by a simultaneous intravenous injection of hypotonic salt solution and lumbar puncture. Theoretically this should cause an interstitial lavage or
FORCED SPINAL DRAINAGE IN ACUTE POLIOMYELITIS. JAMA. 1942;120(4):290–291. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830390040013