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Incidence, 10-year recidivism rate and prognostic factors for cholesteatoma

  • A Britze (a1), M L Møller (a1) and T Ovesen (a2)
Abstract Objective:

Cholesteatoma patients have a high risk of recurrence with complications, and knowledge exchange is a prerequisite for improving treatment. This study aimed to apply appropriate statistics to provide meaningful and transferable results from cholesteatoma surgery, to highlight independent prognostic factors, and to assess the incidence rate.


Incidence rates were assessed for the district of Aarhus, Denmark. From 147 patients operated on mainly with canal wall up mastoidectomies for debuting cholesteatomas, 10-year Kaplan–Meier recidivism rates were calculated and independent prognostic factors for the recidivism were identified by Cox multivariate regression analyses.


Incidence rate was 6.8 per 100 000 per year. The 10-year cumulative recidivism rate was 0.44 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.37–0.53). Independent prognostic factors for the recidivism were: age below 15 years (hazard ratio = 2.2; p > z = 0.002), cholesteatoma localised to the mastoid (hazard ratio = 1.7; p > z = 0.04), stapes erosion (hazard ratio = 1.9; p > z = 0.02) and incus erosion (hazard ratio = 1.9; p > z = 0.04).


The recidivism rate is influenced by several factors that are important to observe, both in the clinic and when comparing results from surgery.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Anders Britze, Dept of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Aarhus Universitetshospital, Norrebrogade 44, DK-8000 C, Denmark Fax: +45 7846 3194 E-mail:
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