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Article
March 1946

OTITIS EXTERNA: Clinical Observations and Microbiologic Flora

Arch Otolaryngol. 1946;43(3):213-225. doi:10.1001/archotol.1946.00680050228002
Abstract

THE high incidence and the widespread distribution of otitis externa (otomycosis, myringomycosis, fungous infection of the ear) among military personnel in tropical or subtropical climes, and on their return to the United States, make this clinical entity a medical problem of importance. More commonly considered to result from fungous infection, otitis externa is regarded by some authors and practitioners to have bacteria as primary or secondary causative agents. Others ascribe the pathologic changes to allergy or to seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.

We became interested in the etiologic problem when it was found that a diagnosis of otitis external had been made for 17 (8 per cent) of 241 men within eight months after their arrival on Guam, in the Marianas. These men, free from "ear trouble" on departure from the United States, lived and worked under excellent hygienic conditions. The pathologic changes seen on otoscopic examination suggested bacterial infection. When

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