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Tuberculous otitis media: a resurgence?

  • M Kameswaran (a1), K Natarajan (a1), M Parthiban (a1), P V Krishnan (a1) and S Raghunandhan (a1)...

Tuberculosis is a global health problem that is especially prevalent in developing countries such as India. Recently, atypical presentation has become more common and a high index of suspicion is essential. This study analysed the various presenting symptoms and signs of tuberculous otitis media and the role of diagnostic tests, with the aim of formulating criteria for the diagnosis.


A total of 502 patients underwent tympanomastoidectomy over a two-year period. Microbiological and histopathological examinations and polymerase chain reaction analysis of tissue taken during tympanomastoidectomy were performed.


A total of 25 patients (5 per cent) were diagnosed with tuberculous otitis media. Severe mixed hearing loss, facial palsy, labyrinthine fistula, post-aural fistula, perichondritis and extradural abscess were noted.


There seems to be a resurgence in tuberculous otitis media in India. Microbiological, histopathological and polymerase chain reaction tests for tuberculosis are helpful for its diagnosis.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Prof. M Kameswaran, Madras ENT Research Foundation, 1 1st Cross Street, Off 2nd Main Road, Raja Annamalaipuram, Chennai 600028, Tamil Nadu, India Fax: +91 44 24311416 E-mail:
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Dr M Kameswaran is The Journal of Laryngology & Otology 2015 Visiting Professor.

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
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  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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