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August 1932


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Neurological Service of the Beth Israel Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1932;28(2):413-416. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02240020165013

Virchow,1 in 1846, while engaged in a study of the formation of the base of the skull, occasionally noted a jelly-like excrescence at the clivus (spheno-occipital synchondrosis). This anatomic anomaly he termed "ecchondrosis physaliphora." Its significance as a notochordal remnant was pointed out by Muller2 in 1858. Ribbert3 confirmed this conception by interesting experimental work, and suggested the term "chordoma" for the tumefaction derived from the ecchondrosis. This notochordal remnant occurred in 2 per cent of the autopsy material. Stewart and Morin4 more recently have estimated its frequency as 1.5 per cent in their autopsy material.

This vestigial remnant may rarely undergo a transition into a growth of malignant character. The tumor has been found most frequently at the spheno-occipital and sacrococcygeal synchondroses. It may, however, develop along the spine between these two points from the notochord remnant persisting at the intervertebral disk.5 The neoplastic

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