What is the pathophysiology of malignant otitis externa (MEO)?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020
  • Author: Brian Nussenbaum, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Malignant external otitis (MEO) is an infection that affects the external auditory canal and temporal bone. The causative organism is usually Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the disease commonly manifests in elderly patients with diabetes. The infection begins as an external otitis that progresses into an osteomyelitis of the temporal bone. Spread of the disease outside the external auditory canal occurs through the fissures of Santorini and the osseocartilaginous junction. [1]


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