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Cancer. 1975 Aug;36(2):590-4.

Metastases to the vertebral column.


Review of 643 autopsies revealed 374 cases of malignant neoplasms, of which 140 were found to have evidence of disease metastatic to the vertebral bodies of the thoracolumbar spine. A comparison is made of the proportion of cases detected by clinical radiographs antemortem vs. the cases of metastatic tumor of the spine detectable by radiographs of slabs of the spine and by histologic examination. A high degree of correlation was found between metastases detected by fine-detail radiography and those detected by microscopic examination. Thus, the incidence of neoplastic metastases to the thoracic and lumbar vertebral bodies is presented, and the reliability of fine-detail radiography is assessing the presence of neoplastic metastases at autopsy is indicated.

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