Nine patients with malignant external otitis (MEO) were evaluated with Tc-99m bone scans, Ga-67 citrate scans, pluridirectional tomography, and computed tomographic (CT) scans in order to assess the role of each in the diagnosis and management of MEO. The Tc-99m and Ga-67 citrate scans were the most accurate studies in the initial identification of disease activity, while the return to normal or improvement of the Ga-67 citrate scan has been shown to correlate best with clinical resolution of MEO. CT demonstrated soft-tissue disease and central skull base osteomyelitis better than pluridirectional tomography. CT is excellent for localization and following the progression of bone disease; however, because reossification of the skull base is a very slow process, CT cannot be used to follow accurately regression or inactivity of MEO affecting this area. CT is the best modality for following soft-tissue extension of MEO.