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August 1964

Contrast Radiography Of the Spinal Cord

Author Affiliations

From the Neuroradiological Section, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service.

Arch Neurol. 1964;11(2):125-143. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460200021003

"... the spinal subarachnoid space was full of air, and in this column of air the shadow of the spinal cord was very distinct."—Dandy

So wrote Dandy29 in his classical report in 1919 to open the new field of contrast radiographic investigation—spinal cord myelography.* Two years later, myelography was first used to diagnose spinal tumors.62,144 Subsequently, many different contrast media were introduced—iodized oils121 (1922), methiodal6 (1931), colloidal thorium dioxide108 (1932), iodophendylate (Pantopaque)109,128 (1944), meglumine iothalamate (Conray)25 (1962) and SH—617L‡ 140,150 (1963)—many technical refinements of the procedures occurred,99,111 and the radiographic findings in pathological conditions were thoroughly described.23,83,99,102,142

It has, thus, become possible to localize spinal tumors by a number of methods with a high degree of accuracy (Table 1). Atrophic conditions of the cord have also been recognized radiographically (Table 2). Despite these developments, however, early expansive or atrophie alterations

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