Glial choristoma of the middle ear

December 20, 2013
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Glial choristomas are isolated masses of mature brain tissue that are found outside the spinal cord or cranial cavity. These masses are rare, especially in the middle ear. We describe the case of an 81-year-old man who presented with left-sided chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness. He was found to have a glial choristoma of the middle ear on the left. Otologic surgeons should be aware of the possibility of finding such a mass in the middle ear and be familiar with the differences in treatment between glial choristomas and the more common encephaloceles.


Opacification within the middle ear is a common finding on radiologic imaging. It can be caused by inflammatory changes, cholesteatomas, carcinomas, and other common pathologies. Middle ear opacification can also be caused by more unusual entities, such as teratomas, central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms, vascular tumors, and other lesions.

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