Tumours of the cord and medulla proper are very rare, but it is not uncommon to find tumours of the meninges, and even of the bones, affecting the cord by pressure. The tumours of the meninges fall to be considered along with those of the membranes of the brain in a different section. We have here to do with those which involve the cord itself.
Of the tumours of the cord proper the Glioma is the most important. It arises usually in the central part of the cord in the tissue around the central canal, this tissue being mainly neuroglia. It may occupy a limited space, but sometimes it has a great longitudinal extension, even B almost the entire length of the cord. The cord is swollen, and, as the tumour-tissue is of nearly the same colour and consistence as the grey matter, the boundaries of the tumour may be indistinct. The glioma is sometimes associated with dilatations of the central canal and with malformations of the cord which will be considered further on. (See Syringomyelia).
Myxoma and Sarcoma have also been observed, usually glio-sarcoma, but in one case a proper spindle-celled sarcoma. A case has been recorded by Ganguillet of a so-called Cylindroma, in which there were branching bodies whose ramifications presented gelatinous mantles.
The Solitary scrofulous tubercle is much less common in the cord than in the brain. It forms a hard cheesy mass, usually with a softer zone of tissue around it. The larger ones have usually their seat in the lumbar portion of the cord.
Syphilis seldom gives rise to proper gummata. When it does so the tumour, here as in the brain, takes origin in the meninges, and is hence at first superficial, although it may subsequently extend into the sub-stan'ce of the cord. The membranes over it are thickened and usually adherent.
Cysts do not occur in the cord as independent formations, but a cystic condition will be described further on as Hydromyelia and Syringomyelia.
Echinococcus and Cysticercus are exceedingly rare in the cord.
All forms of tumour, whether of the cord or meninges, are liable to interrupt the conduction of the cord, and so to produce paralysis. There will be also the usual ascending and descending secondary degenerations.
Sclerosis of posterior columns - Todd, Cyclopsedia of anat. and physiol., 1847, iii., 721; Beynolds, Diagnosis of dis. of brain, etc., 1855; Turck, Prim. Degener. einzelner Biickenmarksstrange, 1856; Duchenne, Arch. gen. de med., 1858; Charcot, Lect. on dis. of nervous syst., 2nd ser., Syd. Soc. transl., 1881; Leyden, Die graue Degen. der Hinterstrange des Buckenmarks, 1863; Err, loc. cit., 1878; Gowers (Syphilis as cause), Brit. Med. Jour., i., 1879; Err, Arch, f. klin. Med., July, 1879; Lockhart Clarke, St. Geo. Hosp. Bep., 1886., i., p. 71, and Brit. Med. Jour., 1869; Pierret (Affection of posterior roots), Arch. d. physiol., 1870, iii., 599, and Gaz. med. de Paris, 1882; Trans, of Internat. med. congress, 1881, vol. i.,; Dejerine, Arch, de phys., 1884; Baymond, Maladies du systeme nerveux, 1894; Marie, Diseases of spinal cord, New Syd. Soc. transl., 1895. Posterior sclerosis in general paralysis - Westphal, Arch. f. Psych., 1882; Claus, Allg. Zeitschr. f. Psych., 1881. Hereditary ataxia - Friedreich, Virch. Arch., 1876, lxviii.,1877, lxx.; Ladame, Brain, xiii., 1890; Mackay, Brain, 1898, 435. Lateral sclerosis - Erb, Virch. Arch., 1877, lxx.; Charcot, Lect., 2nd ser., Syd. Soc, 1881; Flechsig, Ueber Systemerkr. im Buckenmark, 1878; Dreschfeld, Brit. Med. Jour., 1881; Minkowski (Syphilis as cause), D. Arch, ft klin. Med., 1884. Poliomyelitis anterior - Barthez et Rilliet, Traite des malad. de l'enfance, 1863; Duchenne, De la paral. atroph. graisseuse de l'enfance, 1864; Barlow, On regressive paralysis, 1878; Charcot, Lect., Syd. Soc. transl., 1881; Drummond, Brain, April, 1885; Turner, Path, trans., 1879, xxx., 202; Volkmann, Clinical lectures, Syd. Soc. trans., 1876. Landry's paralysis - Landry, Gaz. Hebdom, 1859; Harley and Lockhart Clarke, Lancet, 1868; Westphal, Arch. f. Psych., vi.; V. d. Welden, Deutsch. Arch. f. klin. Med., xix. More recent Literature. - Centralbl. f. Path. u. Pathol. Anat., vol. iii., 1892, p. 6; Boss and Judson Bury, On peripheral neuritis, 1893. Progressive muscular atrophy - Sir Chas. Bell, Nervous system of human body, 1830; Aran, Arch. gen. de med., 1850; Cruveilhier, do., 1853; Lockhart Clarke, Brit, and for. med. chir. review, 1862, Med. chir. trans., 1866, 1867, and 1868; Friedreich, Progress. Muskelatrophie, 1874; Roberts, Wasting palsy, in Reynold's Syst. of med., 1868; Charcot, loc. cit.; Gowers, loc. cit.; J. B. Charcot, L'atrophie musculaire progressive. 1895. Bulbar paralysis - Duchenne, Arch, gen., 1860; Trousseau, Clin, lect., Syd. Soc. transl., 1868, vol. i.; Wachsmuth, Ueber progr. Bulbiirparalyse, 1864; Leyden, Arch. f. Psych., 1870 and 1872; Charcot, loc. cit.; Kussmaul, in Clin, lect., Syd. Soc. transl., 1876. Pseudo-hypertrophic paralysis - Bell, loc. cit.; Partridge, Med. Gazette, 1847; Duchenne, De l'elect. loc, 1865, and Arch, gen., 1868; Adams, Path, trans., 1868, xix.; Ord, Med. chir. trans., lvii. and lx.; Davidson, Glas. Med. Jour., 1872; Macphail, ibid., 1882; Middleton, ibid., xxii., 1884; Goodridoe, Brain, 1882; Gowers, loc. cit., and Pseudo-hypertrophic muse, paral., 1879. Tumours of cord - Gowers and Horsley, Trans. Med. Chir. Soc, Lon., lxxi., 1888.