THE OTOLOGIST who is consulted by a patient with a chronically discharging ear must first make a study of the pathologic condition present. In some cases of continued aural discharge, the pathologic process may be of no danger to the patient's life; whereas in other cases there is found an extremely dangerous situation awaiting only an acute exacerbation, which may lead to serious intracranial complications and threaten the life of the patient.
The locations of the perforations in the membrana tympani and the character of the discharge are of significance. Perforations in the anterior inferior quadrant, or so-called tubal perforations with an odorless mucoid type of discharge, are, as a rule, due to nasopharyngeal infections and are not considered serious. Central perforations of the drum membrane with a mucoid type of odorless discharge are usually due to mucosal infections confined to the middle ear itself and may not be dangerous.
McQUISTON RJ. ENDAURAL RADICAL MASTOIDECTOMY FOR CHRONIC MASTOIDITIS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;51(4):596–607. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700020619010
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