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May 1960

Serous Otitis Media

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(5):683-687. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030685018

The problem of secretory otitis media has shown a marked increase in both incidence and resistance to treatment in the past one and one-half decades. That this is an old disease is attested by the various references1 to it dating back to 1756. Politzer2 is credited with first describing serous otitis media in 1869. In 1874, James Hinton3 also accurately described the disease and outlined the only two effective methods of treatment—myringotomy and evacuation by suction—both of which are in common use today. While mentioned in textbooks, the subject received little or no attention in the literature until 1940.

Although the various chemotherapeutic agents and antibiotics have decreased markedly the purulent complications of middle-ear disease, their widespread use may be the cause of the augmented number of middle-ear effusions now being seen. Furthermore, the sterilization of an otitis media by antibiotics and residual fluid undrained by paracentesis

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