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August 1966

Spheromembranous Degeneration of Muscle Induced by Vincristine

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Neuropathology, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Division of Neuropathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1966;15(2):172-176. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470140062008

VINCRISTINE SULFATE is an alkaloid with oncolytic activity obtained from the periwinkle plant, Vinca rosea Linn.1,2 Its mode of action has not been clarified, but it has been shown to arrest mitotic division in metaphase.3,4 The drug has been used for the treatment of a variety of neoplasms, particularly acute leukemia in children.5-10 From reports in the literature11-13 and personal observations, it has been noted that patients receiving vincristine often develop flaccid distal weakness, distal paresthesias, and depression or extinction of deep tendon reflexes, all of which are readily reversible on cessation of treatment, suggesting a drug-induced peripheral neuropathy. This study was undertaken to determine the histopathologic and histochemical effects of vincristine on the nerve and muscle.

Material and Methods  A group of 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing 165 to 280 gm (6-10 oz), were injected intraperitoneally with vincristine sulfate in doses ranging from 0.2

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