March 2017 Edition. Volume XVII

PantVial400GIF  It has now been almost 75 years since the myelographic agent Pantopaque® (called Myodil® in Europe) was first used on large numbers of unsuspecting US Army personnel suffering from low back pain at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda Maryland where many of them were subsequently disabled by the disease entity ‘Adhesive Arachnoiditis.’ The use of Pantopaque®, which had not been approved for use, on unsuspecting hospitalized Army personnel clearly represented a sad example of Human Experimentation. Subsequent to this, Pantopaque® became the standard myelographic agent being used in many thousands of patients for spine diagnosis in the United States, England, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. It has been estimated that as many as 450,000 Pantopaque® myelograms a year in were being performed in the United States the United States between its introduction in 1942 and the 1990 labeled expiration date on its packaging.

The following is part of one of many letters which have been received by Burton Report from  World War  II veterans who experienced Pantopaque® myelography at that time:

It all started in the US Army where I was hurt during exercises and had to have a disc repaired. They did an oil-base mylogram and then I had 5 other surgeries in the service where the same dye was used each time the did a mylogram. I am now wheelchair bound. I had the Medtronic morphine pump for 5 years and it was a God send until it leaked at the cath site at T10 and T11 and it grew a cyst that paralysed my right leg completely and my left leg to the knee. I now have to cath. myself to unrinate as that function never returned. I wear a brace on my right leg for support when I stand. I belong to ASAMS (Arachnoiditis Sufferers Action and monitoring Society) and it is a great place to be.

Although neurosurgeon William  Van Wagenen published, in the year 1942, the information that Pantopaque® caused a “chemical meningitis” in patients and the subsequent medical literature further documented that Pantopaque® not infrequently led to death and disability due to the production of associated adhesive arachnoiditis, this information was, and has continued to be,suppressed by the drug manufacturers and those who then marketed it. Remarkably, Pantopaque® was never banned from clinical use.


Despite the valiant efforts of arachnoiditis self-help organizations created around the world by victims of adhesive arachnoiditis to promote awareness governments who have looked into the issue and who have documented this remarkably extensive world-wide public health problem have endeavored mightily to suppress this public awareness and enlightenment. Their reasons for doing so appears to relate directly to the realization that to acknowledge this health disaster and to provide appropriate care for the many sufferers would involve a remarkable effort and a high level of expenditure to legitimately identify and medically treat adhesive arachnoiditis sufferers throughout the world.  So much for the issue of integrity.

Derek Morrison ( ) is one of the many individuals throughout the world who have been afflicted with adhesive arachnoiditis as a result of ill-advised Myodil oil myelography. His research and commentary is available for review at: Derek advises that there is presently a “massive story” now breaking in Australia in regard to the historical documented evidence of the illegal use of oil myelograms for human experimentation without governmental approval. He expects this to be published in mid-November, 2016.








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