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October 1959

Dry Treatment of Infected Mastoid Cavities

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Otologic Medical Group and the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Southern California School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;70(4):509-510. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730040519015

The chronically or intermittently discharging mastoid cavity seems to be a problem without solution at times and has discouraged some from advising or undertaking mastoid surgery. It is a rare otologist who does not have at least a few problem cases of this type that have resisted all forms of therapy, including curettage and skin grafting. It is the purpose of this paper to point out the underlying factors which tend to prolong the infection and to outline the dry (powder) treatment of infected mastoid cavities.

Although many factors enter into any infection, there are three main factors underlying all mastoid cavity infections:

  1. Moisture

  2. Presence of opportunists (bacteria and fungi)

  3. Debris and diseased tissue

Many bacteriocidal and fungicidal ear drops have been recommended for the treatment of cavity infections. Usually these medications are very effective in reducing the amount and in controlling the odor of the discharge.

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