Malignant external otitis: Long-term (months) antimicrobial therapy

Melvin Strauss, Robert C. Aber, George H. Conner, Sheldon Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Since Chandler's initial report in 1968 on “malignant external otitis” (MEO), this entity has been recognized in its earlier stages with increasing frequency. As a result of this, the availability of new antimicrobial agents, and the judicious use of surgery, there has been an improvement in the results of therapy. There remains, however, a subgroup of patients who continue to experience a significant mortality from this infection. A review and selected discussion of our experience with MEO from 1976 to 1979 is presented. Six patients have been diagnosed and successfully treated for MEO. They presented with problems ranging from severe otalgia to multiple cranial neuropathy. For the most part, therapy consisted of the now standard aminoglycoside and carbenicillin combination. Two of the patients were in the high mortality risk group. One of these patients developed an osteomyelitis which extended across the skull base resulting in bilateral cranial neuropathies. His therapy included surgery as well as long-term (months) outpatient treatment with tobramycin and carbenicillin with an excellent result. The second patient was treated similarly. The efficacy of this approach is discussed as well as the usefulness of radionuclide bone scanning in assessing the course and therapy of patients with MEO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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