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Article
June 1945

PENICILLIN AND PRIMARY SUTURE IN TREATMENT OF ACUTE SURGICAL MASTOIDITIS

Arch Otolaryngol. 1945;41(6):408-412. doi:10.1001/archotol.1945.00680030438002
Abstract

The purpose of this report is to record our experience in treating 23 patients having acute surgical mastoiditis by means of primary closure of the mastoid wound and instillation of penicillin into the mastoid cavity.

The desirability of primary closure of mastoid wounds has been apparent to otologists for nearly half a century. Blake and Reik1 in 1906 advocated use of primary suture with the blood clot method. Their contention was that blood serum in the mastoid cavity had sufficient bactericidal power to kill the offending organisms and that clotted blood had greater bactericidal power than circulating blood. While much interest in this work was displayed by otologists, and notwithstanding a modicum of success, the use of primary suture was discontinued, and the method has been in disuse for the last two or three decades.

With the advent of chemotherapy and its proved efficacy in treating infections, otologists again were

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