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Ear Nose Throat J. 2005 Aug;84(8):488, 490, 492 passim.

Tuberculous otitis media: report of 2 cases on Long Island, N.Y., and a review of all cases reported in the United States from 1990 through 2003.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA.


We report 2 cases of tuberculous otitis media that were diagnosed at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York since 1999. Both patients were women, aged 30 and 31 years. One patient had grown up in Russia, the other was a native-born American who had never left the East Coast region of the United States. Both patients had been symptomaticfor many months; one complainedof chronic otorrhea, and the other reported otorrhea, hearing loss, and discomfort. Neither patient responded to medical management, and both ultimately underwent surgery. One was diagnosed after surgical pathology revealed acid-fast bacilli on frozen-section analysis. In the other, pathology revealed chronic inflammation and granulomata, butstains were negative and her diagnosis was delayed for almost 2 years. We also review 9 other cases of tuberculous otitis media in the United States that have been reported in the literature since 1990. Our review suggests that the number of cases is rising in areas where tuberculosis is most common--that is, in major U.S. cities. Although 3 of these 9 cases occurred as reactivation disease in immigrants, most might have occurred as a result of local transmission. Clinicians should maintain a high degree of suspicion for tuberculosis in patients with chronic otitis symptoms, particularly those who are at higher risk of exposure to tuberculosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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