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Recurrent post-tympanostomy tube otorrhea secondary to aerobic endospore-forming bacilli: A case report and brief literature review

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February 25, 2013
by James J. Jaber, MD, PhD; Matthew L. Kircher, MD; Eric Thorpe, MD; Ryan G. Porter Sr., MD; John P. Leonetti, MD; Sam J. Marzo, MD


We report a unique case in which a 57-year-old man with an 8-year history of late recurrent post-tympanostomy tube otorrhea (PTTO) was found to harbor Bacillus subtilis, an aerobic endospore-forming bacillus that is typically resistant to chemical and physical agents because of its unique life cycle. Removal of the patient's tympanostomy tube resulted in complete resolution of his long-standing otorrhea. We also review the etiologies of and treatment strategies for early, late, chronic, and recurrent PTTO. We conclude that regardless of the etiology, a patient with persistent or recurrent PTTO should consider undergoing removal of the ventilation tube.

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