Dilemmas in Current Management of Complicated Chronic Otitis Media

  • Y. K. Kirti
  • J. K. Yashveer
Original Article


To evaluate the distribution of complications of chronic otitis media, dilemma of how soon to operate a seriously ill patient with CSOM and treatment outcomes. A retrospective study was done in a tertiary care centre. Clinical data from 2013 to 2015 was compiled, surgical management with outcome was analysed. A total of 425 patients with chronic otitis media were evaluated. Single/multiple complications were seen in 147 (34.5%) patients. Majority of the complications were seen in active squamosal type of chronic otitis media i.e. 137 (59.5%) cases out of the 147. Meningitis (3.3%) was the most common intracranial complication. Patients with intracranial complications were referred from other departments and did not primarily present to ENT, indicating a major fact that treatment was sort for the complication and not for chronic otitis media. Headache with or without ear discharge was the most common presenting complaint. Fever and pain were not prominent indicators of complications, posing a diagnostic dilemma as patients were already receiving antibiotics and analgesics before reaching tertiary care centre. The patients with severe intracranial complications were promptly taken up (within 3–5 days) for canal wall down mastoidectomy with intravenous broad spectrum antibiotic (vancomycin) and mannitol with high risk consent. However ill the patients were, especially children with very poor general conditions, there was dramatic recovery as soon as the mastoidectomy was done. There were no deaths due to the complications of chronic otitis media in our 3 years study period. Delay in resorting to surgical management of chronic otitis media was the main reason for patients going into complications. Timely mastoidectomy in patients with poor general condition with high risk of mortality, the surgery actually had a major role in reducing the morbidity and mortality. Lack of awareness that chronic otitis media is a condition that can lead to life threatening complications resulted in procrastination of surgery. Chronic otitis media requires speedy surgical management i.e. as soon as patient is fit to tolerate anaesthesia: Tympanoplasty and Canal wall up or down Mastoidectomy to prevent complications from arising or to resolve the present complication.


Complication of CSOM Mastoidectomy Intracranial complications 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical clearance

As it was a retrospective study where records were examined, ethical clearance was not required.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ENTGandhi Medical College and Hamidia HospitalBhopalIndia

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