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December 1941


Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;34(6):1144-1151. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660041238007

During the past generation there have been many heated arguments as to the pathogenesis and nature of cholesteatoma of the ear. As yet there are no universally accepted theories. The nomenclature itself is confusing. In this paper I shall attempt to clarify the situation and suggest a more uniform nomenclature.

DEFINITION  "True cholesteatoma," or "cholesteatoma verum," is the term used for a congenital tumor. I believe the term "cholesteatoma" should be limited to the true congenital tumor which develops from a congenital misplaced epidermal anlage. There are a few rare instances of such a tumor developing in the temporal bone. The so-called primary congenital cholesteatoma developing in the temporal bone, however, is in most instances not congenital but develops as a direct result of an invasion of the epidermal epithelium through a perforation of Shrapnell's membrane. Any cholesteatoma which develops as a result of an ingrowth of epidermis into the

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