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Laryngoscope. 2002 Jun;112(6):1003-5.

Bilateral squamous cell carcinoma of the external auditory canals.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia 19104, USA.



To report a case of bilateral squamous cell carcinoma of the external auditory canals and to present a management algorithm for this difficult clinical scenario.


Case report and literature review.


The study comprises a case report of a 69-year-old man who initially presented with complaints of bilateral otorrhea, left-sided otalgia, and a left-sided hearing loss. Following attempted treatment of a presumed case of otitis externa, biopsy of both external auditory canals revealed squamous cell carcinoma. A computed tomography scan demonstrated marked abnormal soft tissue in the left external auditory canal with no bony erosion and thickening of the soft tissue in the right external auditory canal.


The left-sided lesion required a lateral temporal bone resection, a partial superficial and deep-lobe parotidectomy, and postoperative irradiation. The right-sided lesion was more limited and was managed with a lateral temporal bone resection and tympanoplasty for hearing preservation.


Bilateral squamous cell carcinoma of the external auditory canals is an extremely uncommon but aggressive malignancy that may present with symptoms similar to a case of otitis externa, and this can result in delays in proper diagnosis. Early recognition is essential because management and prognosis are determined by the extent of the lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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