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May 1947

MALIGNANT CHORDOMA OF THE LUMBAR REGION: Report of a Case with Autopsy; Comment on Unusual Metastases to the Brain, Lungs, Pancreas, Sacrum and Axillary and Iliac Lymph Nodes

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, and the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;57(5):547-564. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300280041002

CHORDOMA is a rarely encountered neoplasm which arises from the cell remnants of the fetal notochord. Notochordal cells are ordinarily present in the adult within the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disks. These cells may remain in the centers of the vertebral bodies1 and on rare occasions may be found in the maxilla or the mandible.

Of the 266 cases recorded in the literature, the lesion was vertebral in only 36. In a small percentage of these cases the growth was in the lumbar region, and in a still smaller percentage widespread metastases occurred to distant organs. We report here a case of chordoma, surgically removed on three occasions, in which unusual metastases were finally presented. The metastases to the brain are believed to be unique.

HISTORY  When von Luschka2 first described the chordoma its significant relation to the fetal notochord was not realized. Virchow3 expressed belief

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