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December 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1952;56(6):573. doi:10.1001/archotol.1952.00710020598001

THE STATEMENT that the labyrinth is inactive in the newborn has been made on several occasions at medical meetings. It has been heard personally and quoted by others. A casual review of the literature did not reveal any specific data.

It was therefore decided to check the validity of the statement. A Bárány rotating chair was taken to the nursery for the newborn of Stanford University Hospital, and one of the nurses was seated in it, holding a newborn baby in her lap. The baby's head was held so that Reed's base line (from the external canthus of the eye to the external auditory meatus) was horizontal, i. e., the horizontal canals were in the plane of rotation.1

The conventional rotation of 10 turns in 20 seconds produced an active horizontal postrotational nystagmus, of medium to coarse character, in each baby tested. Each baby was rotated first in one

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