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April 22, 1939


Author Affiliations

Fellow in Neurosurgery, the Mayo Foundation; Rochester, Minn.

From the Section on Neurosurgery, the Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1939;112(16):1579-1580. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800160007010c

When a patient has a chronic syphilitic condition of the spinal cord and a second and unrelated lesion of the spinal cord develops, the latter may escape detection. The case reported here appears to be the first recorded instance of the diagnosis and successful removal of a glioma of the cauda equina from a patient who had been known to have tabes for some years.

REPORT OF CASE  A married man, aged 48, was referred to the Mayo Clinic in January 1938 with a diagnosis of tabes dorsalis. In 1905 he had had a chancre and had received inunctions of mercury. In 1920, when he had complained of headaches and diplopia, a physician had discovered that deep reflexes of the lower extremities were absent and that Argyll Robertson pupils were present. The Wassermann reaction of the blood was positive. Eighteen injections of neoarsphenamine reversed this reaction. Several years later, typical