A 54-year-old woman complained of pain in both ears and both eyes on Feb. 6, 1958. These symptoms became progressively severe, and 3 days later she reported to the outpatient service of the Henry Ford Hospital. Her chief complaint was severe eye pain. She was examined by an ophthalmologist who gave her some medication and asked her to return the next day.
The next morning she suddenly experienced profound deafness and ataxia. She lost consciousness 3 or 4 hours later. Examination revealed a paralysis of the left arm and leg and positive Babinsky and Hoffmann signs. She died at 12:15 p.m. of that day.
The history suggests that she had bilateral otitis media followed by meningitis and, eventually, acute labyrinthitis and death.
An autopsy was performed about 2 hours after death. The entire superior surface of the brain was covered by a thin layer of purulent exudate. The brain was
IGARASHI M, SCHUKNECHT HF. Pneumococcic Otitis Media, Meningitis, and Labyrinthitis: A Human Temporal Bone Report. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(2):126–130. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050132005
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