For many years, observers have noted that infection localized in some other part of the body is a frequent cause of secondary gastro-intestinal disturbance. Common sites of infection are in the upper respiratory tract, as the nose and throat, the nasal accessory sinuses, the middle ear and the mastoid cells. More recently our attention has been directed to obscure infection in the mastoid antrum as a cause of nutritional and gastro-intestinal disturbances in infancy.
Hartman,1 in 1898, first suggested a causal relation. In 1904, Preysing2 stated that severe gastro-intestinal disturbances were due to toxic substances which found their way into the blood stream from ear infections. Since the publication of Maurice Renaud's3 article on mastoiditis in infants in 1921, many observations have been made, and much has been written on the subject. Numerous observers, such as McDougal, Knauer, Byfield and Floyd, have made important contributions. Marriott,4