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September 1952


Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1952;56(3):241-249. doi:10.1001/archotol.1952.00710020261002

DURING the past three decades there has been great controversy and confusion in the literature with reference to the etiology, the physiopathology, and the treatment of otitis externa. It is only in the last few years, and especially those of World War II, that any clarification of the subject has begun to appear.

Much of this confusion arose over the fact that otitis externa is a general term used for a number of different pathological conditions whose chief point of resemblance is that they are located in the external auditory canal. It is obvious on reviewing the literature that while one observer is referring to one type of condition, another may be talking about an entirely different etiological type. Under such circumstances the conditions, specific treatments, and results cannot be compared.

For the purpose of this discussion we shall consider chiefly the question of "infectious" otitis externa. By the term "infectious" we mean that type presumably caused by pathogenic organisms or

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