The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Malignant Otitis Externa - A Retrospective Study of 15 Patients Treated in a Tertiary Healthcare Center


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, K S Hegde Medical Academy, Karnataka, India.

J Int Adv Otol 2015; 11: 72-76
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2015.430
Read: 1931 Downloads: 893 Published: 03 September 2019


OBJECTIVE: Malignant otitis externa (MOE) is an uncommon but potentially fatal disease of the external auditory canal. The study aimed at evaluating the demographic profile, coexisting disabilities, clinical presentations, and management of MOE


MATERIALS and METHODS: This is a retrospective study of patients with MOE who were treated at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of our institution. The case records of patients treated between 2006 and 2013 for MOE were reviewed from the Medical Records Department of the hospital. The details were tabulated in a master chart, and the data were analyzed. 


RESULTS: Fifteen patients with MOE were treated as inpatients at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of our hospital during the study period. Of these, 12 were males and three were females. Among the 15 patients, 14 were diabetic and one was non-diabetic. Earache was the most common symptom observed in all patients; edema and granulations in the ear canal was the most common sign observed in 12 patients. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated in 11 patients. All patients were managed medically with intravenous antibiotics.


CONCLUSION: MOE is a rare but aggressive condition affecting the external ear, which is commonly observed in elderly diabetic individuals. Immune senescence may be the cause of MOE in elderly people. Pseudomonas is the most common causative organism isolated in this condition. Most of these patients can be managed with medical treatment; reserving surgery only for the removal of granulation tissue and for histopathological examination.

EISSN 2148-3817