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Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Sep;2(3):151-4. doi: 10.3342/ceo.2009.2.3.151. Epub 2009 Sep 23.

Petrous apex cholesterol granuloma presenting as endolymphatic hydrops: a case report.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


A petrous apex cholesterol granuloma (PACG) is the most common lesion of the petrous apex mass. Affected patients present with various symptoms such as hearing loss, vertigo, headache, tinnitus, facial spasms, and diplopia. We report the case of a 32-yr-old man with a PACG, who was first misdiagnosed with Ménière's disease. He was placed on a low-salt diet, and prescribed medication from another hospital, for several months, but the symptoms persisted and worsened. The patient presented to the emergency room complaining of left facial twitching and numbness. To rule out a central neurological lesion, temporal bone magnetic resonance imaging was carried out and a 2.5 cm mass with high signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted imaging, without gadolinium enhancement, was found. Because of the hearing and facial problems, we drained cholesterol-bearing material via an infralabyrinthine approach using a computer aided image-guided surgical device, the BrainLAB(R). After the operation, the vertigo and hearing loss were no longer present. It is likely that the patent's Ménière's disease-like symptoms were due to the compression of the endolymphatic sac by a PACG.


Cholesterol granuloma; Endolymphatic hydrops; Petrous apex

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