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November 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology, Physiology and Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;32(5):853-859. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660020860003

Contrary to the usual assumption that the lymphatic vessels and the round window are the chief transmitters of solutions from the middle ear to the inner ear, Ross and Hamilton1 demonstrated that mercurochrome placed in the middle ear would in a brief time penetrate the entire cochlea. This fact led us to believe that the introduction of mercurochrome into the nasal cavity would yield information regarding the absorption of material from the nasal mucosa and would reveal the sites to which the material passed and the routes it followed.

Mercurochrome was employed in this study because it is soluble, does not produce tissue necrosis or coagulation, stains tissues a brilliant red and can be precipitated in situ by mineral acids and retain its color, thus making it possible for its spread to be arrested at any desired moment.

Since little of the disease in the nose occurs in the first

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