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September 1964

Fine Structure Of a Recurrent Chordoma

Arch Neurol. 1964;11(3):289-295. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460210067006

In 1962, Friedman et al2 described the fine structure of a recurrent chordoma of the nasopharynx. To date this is the only ultrastructure report of such a tumor. Recently the opportunity presented itself to examine a sacral chordoma that recurred ten years after surgical excision. This report presents the fine structure observations and includes a new concept of physaliphorous cells as well as data confirming the notochordal origin of chordoma.

Case History  The patient, now a 59-year-old woman, had undergone primary excision of a sacrococcygeal chordoma in this hospital on July 24, 1953. The firm ovoid tumor measured 4.0 × 3.5 × 2.5 cm in size and was well encapsulated; the coccyx was involved grossly as well as microscopically, and the sacrum appeared intact. In view of the inevitable recurrence of such lesions, a close follow-up had been attempted, both personally and through the referring physician. In April, 1960