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May 12, 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Pathological Laboratory of St. Luke's Hospital.

JAMA. 1923;80(19):1369-1370. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640460019007

Chordomas are tumors arising from remnants of the notochord. They are reported to occur at the two extremes of the vertebral column; namely, at the base of the skull along the clivus, and opposite the sacrum and coccyx. Luschka,1 in 1856, recorded the first chordoma arising from the clivus. Virchow,2 in 1857, made the first complete description, but thought the tissue was essentially cartilage with softening of the cartilage matrix and hydropic degeneration of the cells. In describing these cell changes he introduced the term "ecchondrosis physaliphora." His tumor, also, was located near the spheno-occipital synchondrosis. Müller,3 in 1858, first suggested that these tumors may be of notochord origin, and that retained fragments of notochord tissue may be demonstrated in the basilar cartilage and sacrum of man and animals, and that in the fetus the notochord extends to the sella turcica. In the spheno-occipital synchondrosis it persists