9 Cholesteatoma of the External Auditory Canal



10.1055/b-0039-169413

9 Cholesteatoma of the External Auditory Canal


Cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal is a rare entity, comprising 1 out of 1,000 cases of all otologic patients. A typical appearance is accumulated debris with bone erosion covered by inflamed skin with spotty exposure of necrotic bone. The patient usually suffered from repetitive otorrhea with dull pain in the affected ear. The lesion usually affects the inferior wall of the external auditory canal, that is, the tympanic bone, and progression of the disease involves posterior wall to open the mastoid, and anterior wall to expose the capsule of the temporomandibular joint. In advanced cases, the mastoid may be filled with debris similar to middle ear cholesteatoma. Pathogenesis of this primary idiopathic lesion is not known. It is speculated that ischemic process of the affected region plays key role, and factors that impair microcirculation of the external auditory canal, such as hemodialysis, diabetes mellitus, smoking habit, and irradiation of the head or the epipharynx, have been reported to increase incidence. Early lesions can be managed conservatively, but in advanced lesions, surgical correction is required. The eroded bone is drilled and covered with multiple layers using materials such as bone paste, cartilage, fascia, and soft tissue flaps. The mastoid should be either opened applying canal wall down technique or closed by reconstruction of the posterior wall.


Secondary cholesteatoma in the external auditory canal may arise after tympanoplasty due to various reasons. An involved vascular strip in the lateral part of the meatus, reabsorption of the posterior canal wall that is thinned too much in canal wall up technique, incorrect arrangement of the skin flap that allows it falling down to the cavity, and an excessively lowered posterior canal wall can be the cause of iatrogenic cholesteatoma in this location. The secondary cholesteatoma can also be formed medially to the stenotic lesions in the external auditory canal. Iatrogenic stenosis after tympanoplasty, congenital anomaly, exostosis, fibrous dysplasia of the temporal bone, temporal bone fracture, and scar formation after overuse of cotton swabs can be the cause of such stenosis. Accumulated debris medially to the stenosis causes destructive process in the external auditory canal. Once such lesion is inflamed, the stenosis usually gets narrower, and severe pain with facilitated destructive process may compel an early surgery.



Case 9.1 (Right Ear)


See ▶Fig. 9.1, ▶Fig. 9.2, ▶Fig. 9.3, ▶Fig. 9.4, ▶Fig. 9.5, ▶Fig. 9.6, ▶Fig. 9.7, ▶Fig. 9.8, ▶Fig. 9.9, ▶Fig. 9.10.

Fig. 9.1 A case of cholesteatoma in the external auditory canal. The coronal CT shows heavy erosion of the tympanic bone (arrows).
Fig. 9.2 The meatus is exposed through a retroauricular incision. Cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal in the anterosuperior wall corresponds to a disruption of the meatal skin with erosion of bone filled with debris. Ch, cholesteatoma.
Fig. 9.3 The debris filling the cholesteatoma is evacuated.
Fig. 9.4 The meatal skin covering cholesteatoma is opened with scissors to further expose bone erosion in the anterior wall.
Fig. 9.5 The matrix of the cholesteatoma covering bone erosion is removed, and healthy part of the meatal skin reflected medially is protected with aluminum sheeting.
Fig. 9.6 The anterior and inferior walls are drilled until reaching healthy bone.
Fig. 9.7 After reaching healthy bone, the area should be smoothened.
Fig. 9.8 The bone erosion in the anterosuperior wall (arrow) should also be drilled.
Fig. 9.9 The dip formed after the drilling is obliterated with bone paste.
Fig. 9.10 The bone paste is covered with temporalis fascia, and the tympanomeatal flap is replaced. The meatus is packed with Gelfoam.

Only gold members can continue reading. Log In or Register to continue

May 12, 2020 | Posted by in OTOLARYNGOLOGY | Comments Off on 9 Cholesteatoma of the External Auditory Canal
Premium Wordpress Themes by UFO Themes