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April 4, 1953


Author Affiliations

Evanston, Ill.
From Northwestern University and Evanston Hospital.

JAMA. 1953;151(14):1180-1182. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940140024007

There are still honest differences of opinion regarding the hazard of tonsillectomy in the presence of poliomyelitis. Some conflict and confusion exist among various reports and analyses. This is an attempt to answer most simply and clearly the question, "Does the hazard from throat operations make it advisable that such operations be limited during the prevalence of poliomyelitis?" Previous reports have been reviewed and some additional data added. These suggest that if poliomyelitis does occur within one month after tonsillectomy it is likely to be of the severer bulbar form. If that conclusion is valid and if it is corroborated by experimental or other evidence, it seems to me sufficient to determine a proper decision. The table summarizes representative reports. The reports have been modified for uniformity. Bulbar, bulbospinal, and encephalitic cases have been grouped together and compared on a percentage basis with spinal cases. So-called mild and nonparalytic cases