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August 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Hearing Clinic, Department of Oto-Rhinology, Temple University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1952;56(2):194-203. doi:10.1001/archotol.1952.00710020213011

SPIEGEL, Wycis, and associates1 devised stereoencephalotomy, the electrocoagulation or electrolysis of nuclei and tracts in the mesencephalon and thalamus for the relief of intractable pain. In the postoperative clinical picture of mesencephalotomy, the occurrence of a hearing defect is a probable by-effect, since the pain-conducting spinothalamic tract lies medial to the lateral lemniscus. Mesencephalotomy aims at a limited destruction of the spinothalamic and quintothalamic tracts, but the postoperative tissue reaction which ensues affects the adjacent auditory nerve fibers. From the nature of the probable pathologic process— edema of an area adjacent to an operative field—it might be expected that the hearing impairment would be of temporary duration only.

A hearing defect is frequently a sequel to a disturbance of the brain brought about by various causes, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, retention of nitrogen in the brain (in exposure to increased barometric pressure), and craniocerebral trauma, even without fracture of

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