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Laryngoscope. 2003 Mar;113(3):443-8.

Management of cholesteatoma: status of the canal wall.

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Section of Neurotology, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ 85013-4480, USA.



Management of chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma remains controversial. The purpose of the study is to examine factors associated with the surgical approach to manage cholesteatoma.


A retrospective review.


A retrospective review was made of all primary cases of mastoid surgery for cholesteatoma performed at an otological center between 1995 and 2000. During the study period, 486 ears underwent surgery for cholesteatoma. Data included procedures performed, location and extent of the disease, residual and recurrent disease, complications, reasons for staging the surgery, and duration of follow-up.


The canal wall remained intact in 68.5% of ears. The majority of the remainder of the patients underwent a canal wall down technique with mastoid obliteration. Residual cholesteatoma was found in 26.9% of second procedures and in 2.7% of third procedures.


The majority of patients with cholesteatoma can be adequately managed with a canal intact tympanomastoidectomy with staging. Otolaryngologists should consider a two-staged procedure as a viable management approach for chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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