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Tympanomastoid cholesterol granuloma: radiological and intraoperative findings of blood source connection

  • Otology
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The hypothesis that the close contiguity between the cholesterol granulomas and some rich blood sources provided the trigger to the aggressive nature of tympanomastoid cholesterol granulomas has been recently reported. To corroborate this new etiopathogenetic theory we retrospectively reviewed a series of 14 patients with primary middle ear and mastoid cholesterol granulomas and investigated the temporal bone marrow invasion and its hematopoietic potentialities and a possible cholesterol granulomas contiguity with relevant vascular structures such as the carotid artery, sigmoid jugular system, mastoid or dural vein. Eight cases did not show radiological sign of bone marrow invasion or hematopoietic potentialities visible in MRI. Besides no intraoperative vascular connections that could explain an initial bleeding source were found. Cholesterol granulomas bone marrow invasion was present in six patients. A bone marrow hematopoietic potentiality was showed in four of these patients, whereas, an evident anatomical contiguity of the cholesterol granuloma with some important temporal bone vascular structures was visible in five cases. Analysis of cardiovascular risk factors showed that four patients presented one or more of the risk factors analysed.

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Correspondence to Giuseppe Magliulo.

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Iannella, G., Stasolla, A., Pasquariello, B. et al. Tympanomastoid cholesterol granuloma: radiological and intraoperative findings of blood source connection. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 273, 2395–2401 (2016).

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