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September 1933


Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service of the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital and the Eastlawn Clinic.

Arch NeurPsych. 1933;30(3):612-620. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1933.02240150142009

The earliest description of chordoma, with recognition of its notochordal origin, was that of Müller1 in 1858. Luschka,2 in 1856, and Virchow,3 in 1857, described identical tumors but failed to recognize a relation to the chorda dorsalis. Because of the fact that these nodules were always found adjacent to cartilage in a stereotyped relation to it, and because they were often associated with an exostosis and gave the microscopic appearance of cartilage cells, Virchow considered them as degenerated cartilaginous tissue. He called them "ecchondrosis physaliphora spheno-occipitalis." So far-reaching was the influence of Virchow on the medical thought of that time that the work of Müller was ignored, and it was not until the conclusive work of Ribbert and Steiner4 in 1894 that this erroneous belief was corrected. These authors showed that in the soft tumors of the clivus blumenbachii there was no transition from cartilage to

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