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September 16, 1939

PREVENTION OF USUAL SYMPTOMS FOLLOWING ENCEPHALOGRAPHY BY THE PRELIMINARY INJECTION OF ATROPINE SULFATE

JAMA. 1939;113(12):1125. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800370003010a
Abstract

Harvey Cushing1 reported that when he injected 1 cc. of solution of posterior pituitary into the ventricles of a human brain the patient exhibited intense flushing of the face, profuse perspiration, retching and vomiting, salivation and a marked fall in the body temperature. Cushing was able to prevent these reactions by the injection of 1 mg. of atropine sulfate subcutaneously.

It was realized that many of the symptoms during and following the procedure of encephalography were remarkably similar to those produced by Cushing in the manner stated. Accordingly in 1937 my associates and I began the routine use of atropine sulfate before encephalography2 and since then we have used one-fiftieth grain (1.3 mg.) with gratifying results in more than 100 encephalograms made of patients with epilepsy and other neurologic conditions.

METHOD  The night before encephalography the adults are given 10 grains (0.6 Gm.) of chloral hydrate and from

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