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Free Content More Than Just Cerumen: Lesions of the External Auditory Canal and Their Surgical Implications

There is an extensive differential diagnosis for lesions of the external auditory canal, including congenital, benign, locally aggressive, and malignant processes. Although external auditory canal lesions are commonly identified clinically, imaging is helpful to determine if the process is isolated to the external auditory canal or to evaluate the extent of involvement of adjacent structures. Because staging of external auditory canal malignancy is based on the location and extent of tumor rather than the cell type, multimodality imaging is often necessary for surgical planning. This article reviews defining clinical and imaging features of external auditory canal lesions, presents an organized approach to their characterization on CT and MR imaging, and discusses their surgical implications.

Learning Objective: To review the differential diagnosis of external auditory canal lesions and recognize their key imaging and clinical features, including surgical implications.

Keywords: EAC = external auditory canal; TMJ = temporomandibular joint

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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