Hyperbaric oxygen as an adjuvant treatment for malignant otitis externa

John S. Phillips, Stephen E. M. Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)



    Malignant, or necrotising, otitis externa is a potentially fatal infection of the external ear canal and surrounding soft tissue and bone. It may be complicated by involvement of cranial nerves, principally the facial nerves and the contents of the jugular foramen. It is an uncommon condition mainly found in the elderly or in diabetics.


    To assess the effectiveness of adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen treatment for malignant otitis externa.

    Search methods

    We searched the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the most recent search was 4 April 2013.

    Selection criteria

    Randomised controlled trials, involving adults, undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy in malignant otitis externa.

    Data collection and analysis

    No identified articles described randomised controlled trials of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of malignant otitis externa.

    Main results

    Due to the lack of data we could present no results.

    Authors' conclusions

    No clear evidence exists to demonstrate the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy when compared to treatment with antibiotics and/or surgery. We found no data to compare rates of complication between the different treatment modalities. Further research is required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberCD004617
    Number of pages11
    JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Otitis Externa [therapy]
    • Hyperbaric Oxygenation
    • Bacterial Infections [therapy]
    • Humans


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