Published: 2021-02-24

Intracranial and extracranial complications of chronic otitis media and their management at a tertiary care center: a descriptive study

Chandrashekharayya S. H., Ruman Ahmed, Prabhu Khavasi


Background: In the pre-antibiotic era complications from otitis media occurred abundantly, accompanied by high morbidity and mortality. With availability of higher antibiotics, morbidity and mortality due to chronic otitis media (COM) has reduced, but still complications due to COM remain a significant problem in developing countries. The aim is to study clinical presentation, management and outcomes of intracranial and extracranial complications of COM. Study design is retrospective case series study.

Methods: Patients admitted in department of otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery, S. Nijalingappa medical college and H.S.K hospital and research center, Bagalkot from May 2018 to April 2020 with COM associated with intracranial or extracranial complications were included in the study. Data of clinical presentation, associated complications, management, and follow-up were analyzed.

Results: A total of 20 patients were reviewed during study period. Of these seventeen patients had extracranial (EC) complications, while one had intracranial (IC) complications and two had both. Otalgia, otorrhea and fever were the main presenting symptoms. The encountered IC complication were lateral sinus thrombophlebitis, cerebellar abscess. Among the EC complications most common were post-auricular subperiosteal abscess, lateral semicircular canal fistula and facial paralysis. Most commonly isolated organism was staphylococcus. Surgery was main modality of treatment.

Conclusions: COM is still a significant problem in developing countries in spite of availability of antibiotics and early diagnosis is crucial in the management of complications associated. This study emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment to limit the morbidity.


Chronic otitis media, Extracranial complications, Intracranial complications, Lateral sinus thrombophlebitis

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