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March 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Milwaukee Children's Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1942;35(3):431-433. doi:10.1001/archotol.1942.00670010434007

Congenital aural fistula is not infrequently encountered, but its occurrence in 6 members of one family is of sufficient interest and rarity to warrant reporting. The 6 cases herein described clearly demonstrate the familial and hereditary features of this condition.

A review of the literature reveals that this anomaly was first recognized and reported by von Heusinger,1 in 1864. Selkirk,2 in a more recent review, thoroughly discussed all phases of this interesting congenital condition. His article included a report of 172 cases which he had examined. The incidence in a controlled group of his cases was 0.9 per cent. The majority of writers, however, have reported a lower incidence—about 0.2 per cent. Congdon,3 in a study of Oriental races, found an incidence as high as 4 to 6 per cent.

The origin of these congenital fistulas is explained on the basis of faulty development of the first branchial cleft or

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