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April 8, 1961

Paraplegia Following Abdominal Aortography

JAMA. 1961;176(1):73. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040140075030

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal (Nov. 26, 1960, p. 1770) is an abstract of an article published in the Annals of Surgery entitled "Spinal Cord Injury as a Complication of Aortography." The abstract lists precautionary measures, the fifth one being "Avoidance of barbiturate anesthesia." The original article reveals that the authors had very little evidence on which to base so positive a statement. They state that, in their series of 38 spinal cord injuries following aortography, data regarding the method of anesthesia was available for 19 cases. Of these, 15 received general anesthesia, with 12 receiving barbiturate in combination with other general anesthetic agents. The remainder were given local anesthesia. The only evidence incriminating barbiturates as a possible cause for the spinal cord injury is this apparent coincidental occurrence. The authors realize this, and state "Although the incidence of barbiturate general anesthesia in this study is striking, it does

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