In cases of bacteremia it often is a problem to determine which of several lesions is the source of the bacteria in the blood stream. The decision becomes particularly important when there is a suspicion of lateral sinus thrombosis following otitic infection.
Such an obscure case led me four years ago to devise a simple procedure by which blood cultures were made from the internal jugular vein directly draining the suspected lesion. The number of bacteria in the blood of the suspected internal jugular vein was compared with the number in the blood of the opposite internal
jugular, and more recently also of the arm vein. It was thought that the vein draining the lesion should show the largest number of bacteria.
This procedure, of course, is quite different from the well known (but seldom used) one of Leutert,1 who first introduced blood cultures into otology. He proposed to
OTTENBERG R. DIFFERENTIAL BLOOD CULTURES. JAMA. 1930;94(24):1896-1901. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710500014006