Middle ear atelectasis

October 31, 2012
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Otoscopic Clinic

Tympanic membrane retraction caused by long-term eustachian tube dysfunction may lead to erosion of the ossicles and cholesteatoma.

A 69-year-old man was referred to our ENT clinic with a 1-week history of constant subjective left-sided hearing loss and ear fullness following an upper respiratory infection. Otoscopic examination detected an air bubble in the middle ear space and retraction of the eardrum onto the ossicles (figure). Also, the long process of the incus was eroded, which resulted in an ossicular chain discontinuity. The stapes head and the stapedial tendon were clearly visible.

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