Cholesterol granuloma is an intractable ear disease. Many studies of this condition have been published since the initial report by Manasse. However, the pathogenesis of this condition is unclear. This study reviewed the treatment of middle-ear cholesterol granuloma in 16 patients undergoing surgical treatment at Kurume University Hospital.
The relationship between patients' pre-operative tympanic membrane findings and post-operative course was analysed. Patients with swollen tympanic membranes had significantly poorer outcomes. Patients with retracted tympanic membranes and those undergoing ossicular chain reconstruction had significantly better outcomes. The patients' overall hearing success rate at approximately two weeks post-operatively was 75 per cent. However, by six months post-operatively, the overall hearing success rate had declined to 62.5 per cent. Patients with poor hearing two weeks post-operatively did not acquire better hearing.