Issue N# 5 - 2012
Subacute tuberculous otitis media complicated by petrositis and meningitis
Authors : Dumas G, Schmerber S, Atallah I, Brion J-P, Righini CA. (Grenoble)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2012;133,5:221-224.
Article published in english
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Aims: The aim of our case study is to illustrate diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties as well as gravity related to tuberculous otitis media with intracranial complications. Case presentation: A diabetic male patient of 65 years old was treated for subacute otitis media with mixed hearing loss. Early bacteriologic samples from ear exudates revealed opportunistic pathogens. Clinical evolution after four months was marked by the appearance of mastoiditis with facial paralysis. The patient presented petrositis and bilateral laryngeal paralysis with lymphocytic meningitis after six and eight months respectively. Tuberculosis was suspected after a positive ELIspot test® with appearance of biologic markers of hepatic dysfunction like cholestasis and hepatic cytolysis. Although antituberculous treatment was instaured even without isolation of acid fast bacilli, the patient died after ten months. Conclusion: Subacute otitis media complicated by labyrinthitis, early onset of facial paralysis or any other cranial nerve palsy should raise suspicion of tuberculosis. The prognosis depends on early diagnosis which remains difficult despite morphological and metabolic imaging. The diagnostic workup should include histological and bacteriologic samples, liver markers of intacellular damage as well as ELIspot test®. The prognosis remains poor especially in immunocompromised patients despite appropriate treatment.
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