The Aword

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1932 - 1938

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In 1932, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued a warning about the long-term risks of introduction of foreign oily compounds into the spinal fluid for imaging purposes.

These concerns were later echoed by neurologist Eric Oldberg in a 1940 editorial entitled "A Plea for Respect for the tissues of the Central Nervous System"([1]).
Of Lipiodol he wrote:

" Lipiodol is a substance of great value."

However, he went on to lament the

"indiscriminate utilization in many sporadic cases in which it is not indicated, and indeed is harmful. Anyone who has had perforce to dig about in the soggy mess which is the cauda equina of some unfortunate in whom five or ten cubic centimetres of lipiodol had been optimistically injected a year or two previously will understand this statement.

Not only is the original disease present, but a chronic, adhesive, chemical inflammation of the caudal roots has been engrafted upon it."

In 1938, Mettier and Leake also described adverse reactions to Lipiodol.

[1] Oldberg E Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics 1940; 10: 724-5 A Plea for Respect for the Tissues of the Central Nervous System