External auditory canal cholesteatoma

July 5, 2012
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Otoscopic Clinic

External auditory canal cholesteatomas, which result from the deposition of squamous epithelium deep to the skin of the external canal, can be caused by postsurgical implantation, radiation, or trauma.

      A 34-year-old woman complained of left otalgia of 4 months’ duration. She denied otorrhea, facial nerve symptoms, or hearing loss. She had been treated previously with antibiotic/steroid drops without relief. She denied having ear surgery or trauma to her ear canal. On otoscopy, her left tympanic membrane was intact and mobile. However, there was a circular erosion of the posterior bony external auditory canal wall that was filled with squamous debris and granulation (figure).

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CitationEar Nose Throat J. 2012 July;91(7):270