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June 1930


Arch Otolaryngol. 1930;11(6):780-782. doi:10.1001/archotol.1930.03560060106011

Numerous reports of diphtheritic infection of the mastoid appear in the literature of the past decade. It is probable that the condition might be diagnosed in even more cases if as a routine smears and cultures of the débris from the mastoid bone were made on favorable mediums. The custom in most hospital laboratories is to implant material from the operating room on plain agar slants, the results being an inhibition of Bacillus diphtheriae, so that the disease is not recognized until definite clinical observations are present, such as a membrane, etc. The successful prevention of diphtheritic complications naturally depends on an early diagnosis, and this can be accomplished only through more accurate laboratory work. In the case I am reporting, smears and cultures were made on plain agar, and a growth of Staphylococcus aureus was reported the next day. Subsequently, a membrane appeared which suggested diphtheria, and cultures made

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