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March 1958

Otitic Reinfection: An Experimental Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Otolaryngology, The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Supported by United States Public Health Service Research Grant B-1272 (C)

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(3):257-267. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010265001

The human hearing organ can undergo microscopical examination in its entirety only once, and this post mortem. To observe intermediate states of a pathological process one has to turn to animal experimentation. In aural diseases which lead unavoidably to the end, the condition in which the ears are found corresponds to an irreversible stage. An intermediary state of ear pathology is seen only when the specimen originates from a patient who died because of an extra-aural illness; otherwise intermediary stages have to be reconstructed largely by conjecture or by forming an arbitrary sequence of findings as obtained from different persons.

Animal experimentation can follow a straight course. When the aim is to study inflammatory processes, for example, the agent introduced into a group of animals can be one known to result in certain similar lesions. By killing them in subsequent periods one can follow the course of the disease. Yet

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