This study consisted of the evaluation of the plain X-ray findings of films taken at early follow-up (mean 1.5 months after surgery) and at late follow-up(4–14 years after the early films) of 211 ears which had been operated on radically and obliterated. Residual cells which were detected on the basis of the early films were associated with a more frequent occurrence of post-operative infection and were thus hallmarks of a poorer prognosis. Changes in the bone surrounding the surgical cavity and the radiological quality of the walls of the surgical cavity, the presence of new bone formation in the cavity and other radiological features did not yield useful information about post-operative complications. New bone formation was associated with a smaller amount of post-operative cavitation. Post-operative X-ray examination of the obliterated ear is a prognostically useful examination, but it does not significantly contribute further to the information available by clinical and otomicroscopic examination in regards to the complications of infection and cholesteatoma.
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