Malignant External Otitis in Nondiabetic Patients

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The purpose of this study is to point out that contrary to traditional belief, there is a small but significant group of nondiabetic patients with malignant external otitis. Thirty patients with a diagnosis of malignant external otitis were treated and followed up at the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Beilinson Medical Center, between 1987 and 1991. Nine of these patients did not have clinical or laboratory evidence of diabetes. This study analyzes this group and concludes that the diagnosis of malignant external otitis should be considered by the treating physician in nondiabetic patients presenting with a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of the external ear canal. Severe pain and edematous closure of the canal, together with typical granulation tissue and failure to respond to medical treatment, are specific characteristics of this group.

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