It has been my experience that some form of septic invasion of the lateral sinus occurs in slightly over 2 per cent of all suppurative mastoid inflammations (estimated in part). In one series of 646 operations on the mastoid, covering a period of ten years at St. John's Riverside Hospital, septic infections of the lateral sinus were observed 12 times. The incidence has been higher than this in cases of mastoiditis following contagious diseases, especially scarlet fever; also the prevalence has been greater in one year than in another, owing no doubt to the presence of more virulent types of micro-organisms in certain instances.
The question may be asked why such cases of spontaneous perforation of the sigmoid sinus should be segregated, as this complication results from a localized septic phlebitis involving the wall of the vessel, which eventuates in contamination of the blood stream by pyogenic bacteria
SMITH AJ. SPONTANEOUS PERFORATION OF THE SIGMOID SINUS FOLLOWING THE MASTOID OPERATION: REPORT OF THREE CASES. Arch Otolaryngol. 1933;17(1):43–48. doi:10.1001/archotol.1933.03570050050006
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