Neurological Complications of Acute and Chronic Otitis Media


Purpose of Review

The aim of this study is to discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, and management of the neurologic complications of acute and chronic otitis media.

Recent Findings

Antibiotic therapy has greatly reduced the frequency of complications of otitis media. However, it is of vital importance to remain aware of the possible development of neurologic complications. There is a trend toward less severe presenting symptoms including otorrhea, headache, nausea, and fever, with altered mental status and focal neurologic deficits presenting later. In order to reduce morbidity, early deployment of a multidisciplinary approach with prompt imaging and laboratory studies is imperative to guide appropriate management.


Complications of acute and chronic otitis media may present with neurologic signs and symptoms. It is important to recognize the possible otitic origin of such complications to ensure proper management and to decrease overall morbidity and mortality

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Correspondence to Michael J. Hutz.

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Michael J. Hutz, Dennis M. Moore, and Andrew J. Hotaling declare no conflict of interest.

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Hutz, M.J., Moore, D.M. & Hotaling, A.J. Neurological Complications of Acute and Chronic Otitis Media. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 18, 11 (2018).

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  • Acute otitis media
  • Chronic otitis media
  • Neurologic complications