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Malignant otitis externa in HIV and AIDS

  • J. D. Hern (a1), J. Almeyda (a1), D. M. Thomas (a1), J. Main (a2) and K. S. Patel (a1)...


Malignant otitis externa is a necrotising infection of the external ear canal which may spread to include the mastoid and petrous parts of the temporal bone, leading to skull base osteomyelitis. It is almost exclusively caused by infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and usually occurs in elderly non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. However isolated cases have been reported in a small number of non-diabetic patients, particularly in children who are immunocompromised due to malignancy, malnutrition and severe anaemia. In 1984 a case of malignant otitis externa was reported in a child with an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-like illness, prior to identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since that time further sporadic cases of this invasive infection have been reported in HIV and AIDS. We present two further cases and also a review of the current literature.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr J. D. Hern, F.R.C.S., Department of Otoalryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, St. Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, Paddigton, London W2 1NY. Fax: 0171 725 1847.


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Malignant otitis externa in HIV and AIDS

  • J. D. Hern (a1), J. Almeyda (a1), D. M. Thomas (a1), J. Main (a2) and K. S. Patel (a1)...


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