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Article
July 1960

Indolent, or So-Called Serous Otitis Media: Including Combined Allergy and Virus Studies

Author Affiliations

Walnut Creek, Calif.
From the Departments of Otolaryngology and Allergy, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Walnut Creek, Calif., and the Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory, California State Department of Public Health, Berkeley, Calif. Chief, Department of Otolaryngology, Kaiser Foundation Hospital (Dr. Fishman); Chief, Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory, California State Department of Public Health (Dr. Lennette), and Chief, Department of Allergy, Kaiser Foundation Hospital (Dr. Dannenberg).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;72(1):25-30. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.00740010029005
Abstract

The term "serous otitis media" might be replaced more appropriately by "indolent otitis media." The consistency of the material obtained by aspiration after myringotomy varies from a thin, watery fluid to a thick, gummy substance. The color, too, varies and may be clear, serosanguinous, yellow, or milky. Although the contents of the middle ear in the majority of these cases is bacteriologically sterile, a few do show evidence of bacterial infection.

Cases of serous otitis media have the following features in common: They are characterized by chronicity and low-grade subjective as well as objective ear symptoms. There is seldom any systemic reaction. Most commonly hearing is impaired (Table 3). Otoscopic findings of fluid levels or of air bubbles in a fluid medium behind the ear drum are pathognomonic of this entity. But such otoscopic pictures are present only in about 10% of the cases. The ear drum may be just

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