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March 1930


Arch Otolaryngol. 1930;11(3):336-341. doi:10.1001/archotol.1930.03560030082007

Acute infections of the mediastinum have long been recognized as grave surgical conditions offering little hope of recovery even in the face of drastic efforts at treatment. Further consideration of this group of cases, however, indicates that there is a finer classification depending on the location of the focus of entrance of the infection, the extent or lack of localization and the etiology of the infection itself. So-called acute mediastinitis, a fulminating, spreading and nonlimited infection is indeed an almost hopeless affair, but a mediastinal abscess, walled off and capable of some surgical approach for drainage, is by no means so discouraging. The former is usually traumatic in origin, such as may follow instrumentation of the esophagus, perforation of the esophagus or trachea by gun shot, or any other sudden entrance of infection into the mediastinal tissues. A mediastinal abscess, on the other hand, may result from an extension of

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