The Aword

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On February 9, 1981, Lafayette's representative, Newton, wrote to a Dr. Gross, in response to queries raised in connection with a serious malpractice case Dr. Gross was involved in.

Gross had asked about the ?actual toxicity' of Pantopaque, the ?actual incidence' of arachnoiditis of post-myelographic arachnoiditis and the incidence of arachnoiditis when all or part of the contrast medium had been removed.

Newton's responses are stunning:

He replied that he was

"not familiar with any article that provides clear information on Pantopaque causing arachnoiditis."

He went on to say that it is

"not possible determine the actual incidence of arachnoiditis associated with myelography."

Most amazingly, he remarked,

"Pantopaque is regarded as safe."

It seems impossible for this man to plead ignorance of all the foregoing medical articles I have detailed, especially since knowledge of this literature must surely be a prerequisite of him being a viable ?expert' representative of the company on matters such as litigation.

In the same year, Barsoum and Canillo ([1]) wrote about thoracic constrictive arachnoiditis; two cases without history of operation, trauma or disc disease at these levels.

Worthington et al. ([2]) described bacterial meningitis after Pantopaque myelography.

[1] Barsoum AH, Cannillo KL. Neurosurgery. 1980 Mar; 6(3): 314-6. Thoracic constrictive arachnoiditis after Pantopaque myelography: report of two cases.


[2] Worthington M, Hills J, Tally F, Flynn R Surg Neurol 1980 Oct; 14(4): 318-20 Bacterial meningitis after myelography