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October 1920


Author Affiliations


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1920;26(4):459-466. doi:10.1001/archinte.1920.00100040082009

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The association between xanthochromia and certain obstructive types of spinal cord tumors in the lower dorsal or lumbar regions is now well established. This association, however, is not so definitely determined that the discovery of xanthochromia justifies the diagnosis of a spinal cord tumor. There have been repeated instances of yellow fluid in the absence of tumor and it is in this type of patient that the significance of xanthochromia is not well established.

The character of the fluid in other respects, that is the coagulability, the amount of globulin, the number and type of cellular elements, permits of further classification of yellow fluids. Indeed, what is most characteristic and diagnostic about yellow fluids is afforded by certain features other than the color.

Reports of recent years make it evident that xanthochromia is not the uncommon finding that it is ordinarily supposed to be. Several large series of case reports

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