Middle Ear

Eosinophilic otitis media

February 12, 2014     Alejandro Vazquez, MD; Danielle M. Blake, BA; and Robert W. Jyung, MD
article

Eosinophilic otitis media is refractory to conventional therapy for otitis media and may lead to severe hearing impairment if not recognized promptly.

Bilateral middle cranial fossa encephaloceles presenting as conductive hearing loss

December 20, 2013     Colleen T. Plein, MD; Alexander J. Langerman, MD; Miriam I. Redleaf, MD
article

Abstract

We report a case involving a patient with bilateral middle cranial fossa encephaloceles extending into the middle ear and causing conductive hearing loss. An obese, 47-year-old woman with a history of a seizure disorder presented with a slow-onset subjective hearing loss. Examination revealed opaque tympanic membranes, and audiometry showed a mixed hearing loss bilaterally. Myringotomy demonstrated soft tissue behind each tympanic membrane. Biopsy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and mastoidectomy confirmed the diagnosis of bilateral middle cranial fossa encephaloceles. Bilateral encephaloceles are uncommon, and the resulting bilateral conductive hearing loss secondary to mechanical obstruction of ossicular vibration is even more rare. This patient's obesity and seizures perhaps contributed to her disease process.

Medial migration of a tympanostomy tube

December 20, 2013     Alejandro Vazquez, MD; Robert W. Jyung, MD
article

Glial choristoma of the middle ear

December 20, 2013     Karen A. Shemanski, DO; Spencer E. Voth, DO; Lana B. Patitucci, DO; Yuxiang Ma, MD, PhD; Nikolay Popnikolov, MD, PhD; Christos D. Katsetos, MD, PhD; Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS
article

Abstract

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.

Dehiscence of the high jugular bulb

October 23, 2013     Min-Tsan Shu, MD; Yu-Chun Chen, MD; Cheng-Chien Yang, MD; Kang-Chao Wu, MD
article

The conservative treatment for a high jugular bulb is regular follow-up with serial imaging studies to detect possible progression, even in asymptomatic cases.

Middle ear effusion in adult ICU patients: A cohort study

August 21, 2013     Bradley W. Kesser, MD; Charles Ryan Woodard, MD; Nicholas G. Stowell, MD; and Samuel S. Becker, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a prospective study of 74 adults-34 men and 40 women, aged 18 to 90 (mean: 60.2)-to determine the prevalence of middle ear effusion (MEE) among patients in the setting of an intensive care unit (ICU) and to compare the findings with those of a control group of non-ICU hospitalized patients. Other goals were to identify risk factors associated with MEE in ICU patients and to evaluate any association with fever. Both groups included 37 patients. MEE was present in 19 patients (51.4%) in the ICU group, compared with only 2 patients (5.4%) in the control group (p < 0.01; odds ratio: 18.5; 95% confidence interval: 3.9 to 88.3). In the ICU group, there were statistically significant associations between MEE and both the use of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.03) and the use of sedation (p = 0.02). No significant relationships were seen in terms of length of stay, body position, the use of an endotracheal tube, the length of ventilation, and the use of a feeding tube. Fever was present in 8 ICU patients (21.6%) and 3 controls (8.1%), but none of the fevers was associated with MEE. We conclude that adult ICU patients have a high prevalence of MEE (51.4% in our sample) that is perhaps unrecognized. We believe that MEE in these patients is most likely related to altered consciousness, sedation, and mechanical ventilation. MEE was an unlikely cause of fever.

Degraded tympanostomy tube in the middle ear

July 21, 2013     Nitin J. Patel, MD; Joshua Bedwell, MD; Nancy Bauman, MD; Brian K. Reilly, MD
article

Tympanostomy tubes can cause a foreign-body reaction that can lead to myringitis and the development of granulation tissue and polyps.

Evolution of acute otitis media

April 17, 2013     Joseph A. Ursick, MD; Jose N. Fayad, MD
article

Treatment for acute otitis media (AOM) ranges from watchful waiting to myringotomy with or without tube placement.

A study of persistent unilateral middle ear effusion caused by occult skull base lesions

April 17, 2013     John P. Leonetti, MD
article

Abstract

The goal of this article is to review a series of patients with persistent unilateral middle ear effusion (MEE) and to suggest a more contemporary diagnostic algorithm. The author conducted a retrospective chart review of adults with persistent unilateral MEE and normal findings on physical and nasopharyngoscopic examinations whose MEE was eventually found to be caused by a variety of occult skull base lesions. The study population was made up of 79 patients-52 women and 27 men, aged 21 to 83 (mean: 54.8) at presentation-who had been referred to an academic tertiary care medical center between July 1, 1988, and June 30, 2008. Follow-up ranged from 9 months to 19.5 years (mean: 8.7 yr). Of this group, 50 patients (63.3%) had a malignant tumor, 26 (32.9%) had a benign tumor, and 3 (3.8%) had an internal carotid artery aneurysm. Eustachian tube occlusion had been caused by diffuse invasion in 33 patients (41.8%), by intracranial pathology in 24 (30.4%), and by extracranial-infratemporal lesions in 22 (27.8%). Nasopharyngoscopy cannot identify a variety of rare skull base lesions that cause eustachian tube compression or tissue invasion that ultimately leads to MEE. Therefore, patients with unexplained persistent unilateral MEE should undergo coronal magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography to look for any intra- or extracranial lesions before undergoing ventilation tube placement.

Middle ear metastasis from dormant breast cancer as the initial sign of disseminated disease 20 years after quadrantectomy

March 24, 2013     Teresa Pusiol, MD; Ilaria Franceschetti, MD; Francesca Bonfioli, MD; Francesco Barberini, MD; Giovanni Battista Scalera, MD; Irene Piscioli, MD
article

Abstract

We describe an unusual case of breast cancer metastatic to the middle ear in a 71-year-old woman. The metastasis was the initial sign of disseminated disease 20 years after the patient had undergone a quadrantectomy for her primary disease. Computed tomography (CT) demonstrated the presence of an intratympanic mass with a soft-tissue density that was suggestive of chronic inflammation. The patient underwent a canal-wall-down tympanoplasty. When a brownish mass was found around the ossicles, a mastoidectomy with posterior tympanotomy was carried out. However, exposure of the tumor was insufficient, and therefore the posterior wall of the ear canal had to be removed en bloc. Some tumor was left on the round window membrane so that we would not leave the patient with a total hearing loss. Our case highlights the limitations of CT and magnetic resonance imaging in differentiating inflammatory and neoplastic lesions.

Retention cyst in chronic otitis media

March 24, 2013     Min-Tsan Shu, MD; Kang-Chao Wu, MD; Yu-Chun Chen, MD
article

The retention cyst originates from the obstruction of a glandular structure and contains fluid, while the cholesteatoma contains keratinizing squamous epithelium.

Cerebrospinal fluid leak of the fallopian canal

March 24, 2013     Karen B. Teufert, MD; William H. Slattery, MD
article

Abstract

Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks from the fallopian canal are extremely rare, as only a few cases have been reported in the world literature. We describe a case of spontaneous CSF otorrhea through an enlarged geniculate fallopian canal. The patient was a 45-year-old woman who presented with a history of CSF rhinorrhea and otorrhea from the right ear. Myringotomy and tube insertion revealed CSF otorrhea. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed that the geniculate fossa was smoothly enlarged (demonstrating remodeling of bone). A middle fossa craniotomy with temporal bone exploration was performed. Intraoperative inspection detected the presence of a fistula secondary to a lateral extension of the subarachnoid space through the labyrinthine segments of the fallopian canal. We discuss the management of this unusual finding, which involves sealing the fistula while preserving facial nerve function.

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