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J Laryngol Otol. 2008 Jan;122(1):3-10. Epub 2007 Jun 25.

Management of granular myringitis: a systematic review.

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University of Dundee Medical School and the Department of Otolaryngology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, UK.



Granular myringitis is a chronic disorder characterised by lateral squamous de-epithelialisation and granulation of the tympanic membrane. Untreated, granular myringitis can lead to post-inflammatory medial external auditory canal fibrosis, acquired canal atresia and inflammatory infiltration of the deep canal.


This study aimed to establish optimal management strategies which could be applied to clinical practice, through systematic review of the current literature.


Current literature was obtained by searching evidence-based medical databases, the Cochrane database, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, the Cochrane controlled trials register, Ovid Medline, the various British Medical Journal imprint journals, individual journal websites and citation indexes, and by hand-searching current journals. Detailed inclusion criteria were set. Data were retrieved from the selected studies and checked for accuracy and consistency. The primary outcome measured was the effect of the proposed intervention on recurrence of granular myringitis, compared with empirical antibiotic therapy.


Fifty-eight publications were identified, dating from 1964 to 2005; 46 of these were potentially relevant. After assessment using the preset inclusion criteria, only two studies remained. El-Seifi and Fouad (2000) found that surgical excision of granulation tissue resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in recurrence of granular myringitis when compared with conventional antibiotic therapy. However, Jung et al. (2002) demonstrated a 96 per cent reduction in granular myringitis recurrence when managed with dilute vinegar solution.


There was a reduced recurrence of granular myringitis in both studies' intervention groups, although neither study was randomised or blinded, making it difficult to assess the clinical relevance of the results. However, the following conclusions can be inferred. (1) Conventional topical antibiotic and steroid drops appear to be less efficacious and more likely to lead to recurrence of symptoms, compared with other proposed treatment modalities. (2) Treatment with dilute vinegar solution presents a logical, unharmful alternative to conventional antibiotic drops. Further research of high value is needed.

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