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August 1963

Acute Transverse Myelopathy

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 1963;9(2):111-119. doi:10.1001/archneur.1963.00460080021002

Despite its clinical recognition for several decades and its not infrequent occurrence, acute transverse myelopathy remains a poorly understood syndrome not only etiologically but also in terms of its clinical behavior. Otherwise referred to as acute transverse myelitis, acute myelomalacia, and acute necrotic myelopathy, this syndrome is the subject of controversy in the literature and confusion still exists on many points, among which are its possible link to multiple sclerosis, its relationship to the "anterior spinal artery syndrome," and its prognostic implications.

Much of the pertinent literature has emphasized a gloomy prognosis for patients with acute transverse myelopathy. Jaffe and Freeman, for instance, reviewed the literature and concluded that acute spinal necrosis of obscure origin is uniformly fatal in from 10 days to 3 months.1 Hoffman similarly reviewed the problem in 1955 and found that if death does not occur in the acute stage, almost invariably the patient succumbed

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