Malignant external otitis: A dangerous misnomer?

Frank E. Lucente, Simon C. Parisier, Peter M. Som, Leon M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Review of our experience in treating 16 patients with malignant external otitis, along with survey of the compromised defense mechanisms of diabetic patients, confirms the need for immediate, intense, and vigilant therapy. Radioisotope scans, high-resolution computed tomography scans, and multidirectional tomograms are used to delineate the extent of the disease. Therapy includes intravenous aminoglycosides and penicillin derivatives, limited surgery, and hyperbaric oxygenation. In view of the tendency for this infection to extend beyond the external auditory canal and to produce an invasive lethal osteomyelitis, we feel that the tendency to classify this disease as a variant of diffuse external otitis may foster undertreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1982


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