[Skip to Navigation]
June 1960

Maternal Diabetes: Changes in the Hearing Organ of the Embryo: Additional Observation

Author Affiliations

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

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;71(6):921-925. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.03770060033004

Diabetes and ear disease have a long common history. It can be divided into three periods.

Deafness and dizziness, in the wake of diabetes, were the first to attract attention, as far back as a century ago. Rapid advance of temporal bone surgery characterized the second period: the particularly vicious attack on the part of diabetes frequently necessitated heroic surgical measures. The devastation was checked by sulfonamides and antibiotics, with the result that, in a third period, attention turned again to disorders in the inner ear, with insulin finally radically changing the entire aspect of the underlying disease and its radiation to the organ of hearing.

Through all these periods, histopathologic knowledge was based on a mere handful of reports. The first embryo of a diabetic provenience was investigated in this laboratory (1955). The pregnancy of a woman who was diabetic for many years had to be interrupted, and the