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March 1962

Pathologic Changes in Human Ear After Kanamycin

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(3):192-197. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040200002

Introduction  Kanamycin is an antibiotic drug produced from a species of bacteria termed Streptomyces kanamyceticus, and it resembles neomycin in its structural formula. It is active against many strains of Gram-positive, and acid-fast organisms. It is sometimes given, in spite of its known ototoxic effects, when other less toxic antibiotics fail.Kanamycin is cleared from the blood stream by granular filtration, the half-life of blood levels being normally about 4 hours.1 In patients with impaired renal function, very small doses can create high blood levels which result in an ototoxic effect.We have acquired the temporal bones from 2 patients suffering hearing loss from the administration of this drug.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—History: This 27-year-old Negro female was admitted to Brooke Army Hospital on April 15, 1959, with the diagnosis of abruptio placenta and eclampsia. Emergency cesarean section was performed. The following day she experienced renal failure and

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