Acta Med. 2021, 64: 36-41

A Case Series of Malignant Otitis Externa Mimicking Malignancy

Vengathajalam Selvamalara, Nik Adilah Nik Othmana,b, Mohd Khairi Dauda,b

aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medical Sciences, Health Campus, University Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
bHospital University Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received June 27, 2020
Accepted November 5, 2020

Malignant otitis externa is an inflammation of the external auditory canal with preceding osteomyelitis of the temporal bone and the adjacent structures that could be potentially lethal. Malignant otitis externa may present with cranial nerve involvements and massive spread of disease mimicking nasopharyngeal carcinoma or any other malignancies on imaging. Two elderly patients who presented with severe otalgia and significant facial nerve palsy and lower cranial nerve palsies showing extensive spread of disease are reported in this case series. They both had resolution of disease after a prolonged course of antibiotics and cortical mastoidectomy for disease clearance in one of them.


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