Management of Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis: A Systematic Review and Treatment Algorithm

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Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis (CNH) is an idiopathic benign inflammatory painful condition of the ear. Still, to date, no study has yet evaluated nor compared treatments regarding their safety and efficacy.


The objective of this study is to review all available treatment modalities of CNH that were described in the literature, compare their efficacy and propose a treatment algorithm.


A systematic review of the literature was conducted using Embase, Medline, and Cochrane databases. Articles studying the management of CNH that reported data on the cure rates were included in this review.


A total of 29 studies were included in the review. The 3 most commonly reported treatments for CNH are surgery, pressure relief, and topical nitroglycerin. Surgery has higher cure rate (82%) compared with pressure relief treatment (37%) or nitroglycerin (51%) (p < .0001). Surgery should be considered as the first-line treatment for CNH. Second-line treatments include nonsurgical therapies, particularly nitroglycerin and pressure relief techniques, alone or in combination. Third-line treatments include newer or less studied methods.


Among the treatment modalities, surgery showed the highest cure rates. Adequately designed randomized controlled trials are warranted to compare newer therapeutic methods.

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