What is the rate of recurrence in 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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Disease recurrence is reported in 9-27% of patients. It usually is related to inadequate length of therapy and manifests as recurrent headaches and otalgia, not as otorrhea. The ESR begins increasing again.

Malignant external otitis (MEO) can recur as long as one year after treatment is completed; thus, a patient should not be considered cured until that time.

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