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December 1954

NEUROMYELITIS OPTICA SIMULATING SPINAL CORD TUMOR: Report of a Case, with a Review of Nine Additional Cases

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Neurological Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;72(6):758-763. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02330060094011

THE CLINICAL features of neuromyelitis optica are generally regarded by clinicians as distinct and unique in character, usually permitting prompt recognition, but in some cases the diagnosis may be difficult. When attended by pronounced visual disturbances, acute or subacute spinal cord syndromes should arouse suspicion of neuromyelitis optica. Occasionally, however, the onset of optic neuritis may be delayed for weeks or months, thus allowing some confusion in the clinical picture. On the other hand, optic neuritis may precede myelitis for considerable periods of time, again leading to diagnostic difficulty. In the latter instance, if rapidly failing vision and minimal papilledema are the only findings, the diagnosis of intracranial tumor may be excluded only after ventriculography. However, as far as we know, the first of the following cases is the only reported instance in which neuromyelitis optica so closely resembled spinal cord tumor that laminectomy was actually performed.