Malignant otitis externa

Emin Karaman, Mehmet Yilmaz, Metin Ibrahimov, Yusuf Haciyev, Ozgun Enver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Malignant external otitis is a severe infection of the external auditory canal and skull base, which most often affects elderly patients with diabetes mellitus. This disease is still a serious disease associated with cranial nerve complications and high morbidity-mortality rate. Malignant otitis externa requires urgent diagnosis and treatment. The most effective treatment is to control the diabetes and to fight infection with the proper antibiotic and debridement necrotic tissue; sometimes, aggressive surgical management is done. We present our 5-year institutional experience in the management of this disease. The aim of this study was to present our experience with the management of malignant otitis externa. Methods: All patients' records with malignant otitis externa during the last 5 years (2007Y2012) were retrieved and reviewed. Diabetes mellitus profile, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ear swab for culture and sensitivity, computed tomography, and scintigraphy using technetium 99 and gallium 67 were investigated for all patients. Results: During the last 5 years (2007Y2012), 10 patients with the diagnosis of malignant otitis externa were admitted to our clinic for investigation and treatment. There were 7 men and 3 women, all between 64 and 83 years of age, with severe persistent otalgia, purulent otorrhea, granulation tissue in the external auditory canal, and diffuse external otitis, and there were 4 patients with facial nerve palsy. Nine patients were confirmed to have a diabetes, and 4 of these 9 cases just had chronic renal failure and underwent dialysis; the remainder 1 case had no diabetes mellitus, but with chronic renal failure on dialysis. Ear swabs for culture and sensitivity usually revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Local debridement and local and systemic antibiotic treatment were sufficient to control the disease. Facial nerve decompression was done in facial paralysis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was performed in facial nervy palsy cases. Conclusions: Malignant otitis externa is still a serious disease associated with cranial nerve complications and high morbiditymortality rate. The most effective treatment is to control the diabetes and to fight infection with the proper antibiotic, debridement necrotic tissue, and sometimes aggressive surgical management. Monitoring of therapy response is done through normalization of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, control of diabetes mellitus, and improvement of computed tomography and radioisotope scanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1748-1751
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cranial nerve paralysis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Malignant otitis externa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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