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J. Park Biehl, M.D.
JAMA. 1955;158(9):721-724. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960090015004.
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Subdural empyema, or subdural abscess, is a comparatively uncommon complication of acute frontal sinusitis. Before the use of antibiotics, it was almost always fatal, but at the present time survival may be expected in the majority of cases, provided surgical drainage is done at the earliest possible stage. The need for early suspicion of the presence of subdural empyema thus greatly increases its significance, and the physician who treats respiratory disease should be familiar with its clinical manifestations and the features that lead to its early diagnosis. It is surprising that subdural empyema is not mentioned in any of the popular textbooks of internal medicine, either as a separate subject or as a complication of frontal sinusitis, nor is it adequately described in most neurological and neuropathological textbooks.

The importance of subdural empyema secondary to acute frontal sinusitis to internists and general practitioners has been illustrated by four patients with


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