The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

A Different Era for Malignant Otitis Externa: The Non-Diabetic and Non-Immunocompromised Patients


2nd Otolaryngology Department, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens Faculty of Medicine, “Attikon” University Hospital, Athens, Greece


Department of Informatics, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece

J Int Adv Otol 2022; 18: 20-24
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2022.21313
Read: 1170 Downloads: 523 Published: 01 January 2022

BACKGROUND: Τo investigate the differences in regard to the clinical, laboratory, and imaging findings as well as the treatment course between diabetic and non-diabetic, non-immunocompromised patients with malignant otitis externa.

METHODS: A total of 36 hospitalized patients diagnosed with malignant otitis externa between January 2011 and December 2020 were divided into 2 groups according to their medical history, blood glucose, and glycated hemoglobin levels.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were diabetic (group A) and 4 were non-diabetic, non-immunocompromised (group B). Otalgia was present in all patients (100%), followed by otorrhoea (67%) and edema (64%). Polyps were present in 18 patients (50%). Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated in 16 out of 25 positive cultures (64%). Four patients of group A and none of group B underwent surgery. Five patients of group A and none of group B had at least 1 cranial nerve involvement. The mean age was 77.22 ± 8.17 for group A and 47.25 ± 3.59 for group B (P < .001). No statistical significance was observed in regards to major symptoms, inflammatory markers (white blood cell, C-reactive protein, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate), positive imaging, and microbiological findings between the 2 groups. The average days of hospitalization were 42.41 ± 31.06 for group A and 10.25 ± 2.63 for group B (P < .049). Four diabetic patients died.

CONCLUSION: Non-diabetic, non-immunocompromised adult patients with malignant otitis externa had a better response to antibiotic therapy and a shorter length of hospitalization. A high clinical suspicion for malignant otitis externa should always raise in cases of otitis externa that fail to respond in a topic and/or oral antibiotic treatment for more than a week.

Cite this article as: Sideris G, Latzonis J, Avgeri C, Malamas V, Delides A, Nikolopoulos T. A different era for malignant otitis externa: The nondiabetic and non-immunocompromised patients. J Int Adv Otol. 2022;18(1):20-24.

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