Malignant otitis externa

This a rare (on absolute frequency) but potentially lethal infection of the outer acoustic canal. The responsible micro-organism, in the majority of cases, is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It presents with pain, otorrhoea and reduction of the acoustic acuity, without fever. If the diagnosis is delayed, the infection can spread, resulting in osteomyelitis of the skull and/or intracranial infection. Ciprofloxacin is usually prescribed, although in neglected cases surgical treatment may also be needed.

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