The great interest shown in infections of the petrous bone during the last six years has been construed by some to indicate that knowledge of these conditions is essentially new.
A review of the literature reveals that the signs and symptoms were well recognized and the methods of treatment were devised by 1904. Furthermore, some of the old masters, like Tröltsch, were acquainted with the syndrome thirty-five years before that.
What was probably the earliest study of petrositis or at least one of the earliest, was made by Edward Cock in 1838. In his article entitled "Contribution to the Pathology of Congenital Deafness"1 he reported pathologic studies of four patients with congenital deafness showing anomalous labyrinths. No histories were given, and the protocols were limited largely to the condition in the ears. In case 4 the right tympanum was filled with mucopurulent fluid. "The petrous bone, more