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January 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Jewish Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1942;35(1):53-65. doi:10.1001/archotol.1942.00670010054003

A considerable percentage of inflammations of the middle ear lead ultimately to intracranial complications, and the most serious of these is, undoubtedly, meningitis. Otitis media is, therefore, a very serious infection, as it is the most common cause of meningitis if one excludes the meningococcic and tuberculous forms.1

The present communication was prompted by a review of 39 cases of otitic bacterial meningitis encountered at the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn from the beginning of 1933 through 1940. This includes a period of four years prior to the introduction of modern chemotherapy and a period of four years since its introduction. The number of cases may not be large, but they show a significant trend.

The symptoms of otitic meningitis need not be discussed, as they are well known.

Gatewood and Settel2 (quoting Friesner and Druss) said that the possible routes of infection are (1) by direct extension through the bone,

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