What are the potential complications of acute otitis media (AOM)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2019
  • Author: John D Donaldson, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The complications of AOM are classified by location as the disease spreads beyond the mucosal structures of the middle ear cleft. They may be categorized as follows:

  • Intratemporal - Perforation of the tympanic membrane, acute coalescent mastoiditis, facial nerve palsy, acute labyrinthitis, petrositis, acute necrotic otitis, or development of chronic otitis media

  • Intracranial - Meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess, otitis hydrocephalus, subarachnoid abscess, subdural abscess, or sigmoid sinus thrombosis

  • Systemic - Bacteremia, septic arthritis, or bacterial endocarditis

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