Necrotizing (malignant) external otitis (NEO) is an infection involving the temporal and the adjacent bones. It is a rare type of external otitis that occurs primarily in immunocompromised persons. The present study aimed to evaluate its management and outcome in recurrent cases. Ten patients attending the ENT Department, Alexandria University were included. They had recurrence of otitis externa over a period of 6 months after-cure, as well as severe night otalgia and high ESR level. Peri-auricular soft tissue swelling, cranial nerve paralysis and trismus were the main persistent or developing presentations in recurrent cases. Extensive surgical intervention was performed in four patients with unsatisfactory outcome. On the other hand, satisfactory results were obtained with those treated with specific medical therapy after culture and sensitivity test and those who underwent minimal surgical intervention. In conclusion, NEO is an aggressive disease that necessitates conservative management and local debridement of sequestrated tissues. The ESR is a good indicator of treatment response. It is recommended to be meticulous in treatment of cases with recurrent NEO and extensive surgical interventions are discouraged.
Recurrent necrotizing external otitis Extensive surgery ESR as a marker of treatment response