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January 13, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(2):112-117. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810020016004

Although tumors of the sympathetic nervous system are rarely encountered in the practice of orthopedic surgery, the cases presented in this paper show that they must be considered before making the final diagnosis of certain lesions of the spine. Owing to the vast distribution of sympathetic nervous tissue, one may find these neoplasms growing almost anywhere within the body and producing a great variety of symptoms. The neuropathologist and neurosurgeon probably see these cases more frequently than others. Occasionally the pediatrician, the internist and the abdominal surgeon encounter them. The urologist must always consider the possibility of tumors of the adrenal gland in differentiating certain lesions of the kidney.

Originally, tumors of the adrenal gland as well as other retroperitoneal tumors that were found in children were considered to be sarcomas. It was in 1864 that Virchow first thought that these tumors might be of nervous tissue origin. He thus