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September 21, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(12):1101-1107. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270090345066

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In every important pathologic cycle there is a focal point from which the disease process emanates and radiates. There is no small individual cavity in the human body which occupies so distinctly vital a position in its relations to surrounding areas as does the cavum tympanum. A brief study of its anatomic relations will definitely reveal the close interrelation which exists between the cavum tympanum and its many accessory areas, viz.: the eustachian tube. the mastoid antrum, the lateral sinus, the carotid canal, the labyrinth and the temporosphenoidal fossa.

The irregularly shaped cavity of the middle ear is located in a comparatively inaccessible place in the depth of the temporal bone, surrounded on all sides by delicate and vital structures. It offers a favorable site for fluid contents and an ideal incubator for the many forms of bacteria which so frequently find lodgment there. It is most vulnerable, of course,

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