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June 1938


Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;27(6):739-745. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650030757005

Meningitis has been and in fact still is the most dreaded complication of suppuration of the temporal bone. The mortality entailed by bacterial invasion of the meninges has until recently closely approximated 100 per cent. Occasionally a cure has been reported after bacteria had been recovered from the spinal fluid, but when the treatment reported to be successful was hopefully tried in other cases the result was usually disappointing.

In a fairly recent review of the literature on streptococcic meningitis, Gray1 in July 1935 found only 66 cases of recovery reported in the preceding thirty-five years. He concluded that the mortality rate for the disease was probably 97 per cent. Neal2 later reported a mortality of 95 per cent from the meningitis division of the Department of Health of New York City over a period of twenty-six years, including 1936. In contrast with these discouraging reports are the frequent reports

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