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Skull Base. 2008 May;18(3):167-72. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-994290.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the external auditory canal.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.



This study aims to analyze the treatments, prognostic variables, and outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the external auditory canal (EAC) and middle ear treated in our department over a 15-year period.


A retrospective analysis of 19 patients treated in our department between 1990 and 2006. The patients were staged according to the Pittsburgh classification. Patients were treated with either a lateral (LTBR) or an extended temporal bone resection (total or subtotal). Parotidectomy was performed in patients with suspected clinical or radiological invasion and postoperative radiotherapy was the adjuvant treatment in most patients in advanced stages.


The overall 5-year survival was 37%. There were no patients in stage I. The survival rates were 100%, 25%, and 16% for stages II, III, and IV, respectively. Facial nerve paralysis (p = 0.007) and lymph node involvement (p = 0.006) were associated with decreased survival rates.


SCC of the temporal bone are rare but have a poor prognosis. Lymph node involvement and facial nerve palsy are associated with a poorer outcome. These tumors must initially be treated radically, for which an early diagnosis is important.


Carcinoma of the external auditory canal; ear neoplasms; squamous cell carcinoma; temporal bone surgery; temporal bone tumors

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