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August 1965


Author Affiliations

Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle upon Tyne 1, England

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(2):204. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010206025

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To the Editor: The recommendations of 15 otologists from various universities and institutions regarding a standard classification for surgery of chronic ear infection, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology (81:204-205 (Feb) 1965), may constitute a retrograde step. A standard classification is suggested, and the second paragraph ends as follows: "This multiplicity of terms has resulted in considerable semantic confusion with consequent difficulty in classification of the work done by different surgeons." Yet the whole proposal begins with a semantic difficulty, because there is no definition of what is meant by chronic ear infection.

The chronic ear problem still requires intensive clinical study. At this stage it cannot be solved by adopting a number of surgical pigeonholes, still less by the continued use of a phrase like chronic suppurative otitis media with or without cholesteatoma.

Since the acute-chronic sequence is no longer acceptable in Western communities there is a need to

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