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Radiation Therapy for Paraplegia Due to Multiple Myeloma

William E. Martin, MD; Paul Heller, MD
JAMA. 1965;191(3):247-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080030091020.
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SPINAL CORD compression has been reported to occur in 6% to 18% of patients with multiple myeloma.1,2 Since paraplegia may be the first manifestation of multiple myeloma, it is important to consider this diagnosis in every patient with cord compression.

Paraplegia in multiple myeloma has frequently been regarded as a strong indication for surgical intervention.3,4 The successful use of radiation therapy alone has been occasionally reported3 but not sufficiently stressed. It is the purpose of this report to reemphasize the potentialities of the latter approach in this clinical situation.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A 54-year-old Negro male was admitted on June 29, 1960, because of backaches of 11 months' duration and weakness and numbness of the lower extremities which began two weeks prior to admission and progressed rapidly.On admission he was well developed and well nourished. The blood pressure was 125/95 mm Hg. He had


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