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May 1945


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Wesley Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern University Medical School (Dr. Hagens); Department of Anesthesia, Wesley Memorial Hospital, and Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School (Dr. Karp); Department of Biochemistry of Northwestern University Medical School (Professor Farmer).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1945;41(5):333-336. doi:10.1001/archotol.1945.00680030362004

In Science, July 14, 1944, Bryson, Sansome and Laskin1 reported on the aerosolization of solutions of penicillin. They stated that experiments by themselves and others had demonstrated that solutions of penicillin could be successfully aerosolized and the penicillin recovered from the lungs of animals subjected to the vapor. Human subjects were given penicillin by inhalation, and 3 to 60 per cent of the penicillin, depending on the technic, was recovered in the urine in twelve hours.

In view of this favorable report and the possibilities of the method we decided to use inhalations of penicillin therapeutically. The first objective was to find out whether penicillin was sufficiently well absorbed by this method to be of practical value; the second objective was to investigate the results of the inhalation of penicillin in several types of patients, principally those with pulmonary conditions, for in such patients the additional value of local therapy