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October 8, 1973

Myelopathy After Duck Embryo Vaccine

Author Affiliations

St. Petersburg, Fla

JAMA. 1973;226(2):198. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230020044018

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To the Editor.—  As a neurologist, I read the article, "Myelopathy After Duck Embryo Rabies Vaccine" by Mozar et al (224:1605-1607, 1973) with concern. I could find no evidence to justify the diagnosis of "myelopathy" that the authors emphasized in their title and report. Their patient did not have Babinski signs, or any other evidence of pyramidal tract disease; she had no sensory loss to suggest spinal cord localization; there were no sphincteric disturbances. Absence of the superficial abdominal reflexes in a 56-year-old woman may well be a normal finding and certainly does not indicate "myelopathy."Their patient had generalized weakness, dysphagia, and hypoactive deep tendon reflexes.The clinical picture might raise a question of the Guillain-Barré syndrome, with sparing of sensation and sphincter function, hyporeflexia, and diffuse weakness of the extremities and trunk.