March 1930


Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol. 1930;11(3):279-286. doi:10.1001/archotol.1930.03560030025002

Posttonsillectomic pulmonary abscess is that condition of the lungs characterized by consolidation and necrosis which follows shortly after the removal of tonsils. Consolidation and abscess are possibly different stages of the same process, and hence many so-called ether pneumonias might be included in this study.

ETIOLOGY  The complication generally begins from twenty-four to forty-eight hours after operation and is characterized by fever (sustained or hectic), sweats, anorexia, malaise and a dry harassing cough terminating, in from ten to fourteen days, with foul expectoration. Much discussion has arisen regarding the cause of this pneumonic process and its advanced stage of necrosis. Both the aspiration and the embolic theories have certain arguments in their favor, and I shall summarize them as concisely as possible.Aspiration.—This seemed the most logical theory for many years, because mucus and blood from the mouth have been found in the trachea and larger bronchi by bronchoscopy after

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