One hundred and five years ago Duncan, a pathologist, discovered a septic thrombus within the cavernous sinus. Eighteen years later Vigla made the first clinical report of a case. Since then this fatal complication has been so much overlooked that fewer than three hundred cases have been recorded.
The picture of this disease is so striking and its relation to adjacent foci is so constant that one wonders why it has gone undiagnosed. Two factors may help to explain the lack of recognition of this lesion: (1) the peculiar structure and the hidden position of the cavernous sinus, and (2) the prompt and fatal complicating meningitis.
Nature seems to have been aware of her mistake when she constructed the cavernous sinus, because she hid it so carefully that not only was man late in finding it but he has never been able to attack it surgically with any success.
DIXON OJ. THE PATHOLOGIC EXAMINATION IN CAVERNOUS SINUS THROMBOSIS: AS A GUIDE TO THE DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS AND TREATMENT. JAMA. 1926;87(14):1088–1092. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680140006002
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