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February 1939

PROGRESSIVE FALL IN PROTEIN CONTENT OF CEREBROSPINAL FLUID WITHDRAWN ABOVE A TUMOR OF THE CAUDA EQUINA: A Diagnostic Aid

Author Affiliations

Cincinnati

From the Neurological Division of the Department of Internal Medicine, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(2):373-374. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270140159013
Abstract

Cushing and Ayer1 pointed out that the cerebrospinal fluid withdrawn from the region immediately above a tumor of the cauda equina is commonly xanthochromic and has a slight or marked increase in the protein content. This observation has been confirmed repeatedly and has come to be a valuable aid in the diagnosis of these neoplasms.

It occurred to me that as the cerebrospinal fluid is withdrawn from a point just cephalad to such a lesion it should, of necessity, become admixed with more normal fluid from higher levels and that its protein content should fall progressively as the fluid continues to flow. This assumption was submitted to chemical proof in the following case.

Mrs. F. H., aged 28, the wife of a farmer, began to experience shooting pain down the back of the right thigh in the spring of 1937. On occasion the pain radiated into the heel and

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