Mastoiditis CT

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Mastoiditis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Mastoiditis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

X Ray




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mehrian Jafarizade, M.D [2]


High Resolution CT scans of the temporal bone in mastoiditis patients are the preferred diagnostic tool and may reveal mastoiditis and its complications. CT findings in acute mastoiditis are: partial-to-complete opacification of mastoid air cells, erosion of mastoid air cell bony septum, mastoid cortex destruction and irregularity, periosteal thickening, periosteal disruption, and subperiosteal abscess. CT findings in subacute and chronic mastoiditis are: markers for inflammation, sclerosis, or opacification of mastoid process, tympanic membrane changes including thickening, retraction, tympanic membrane perforation, or calcification, ossicle erosion or other possible causes for hearing loss, determination of cholesteatoma, intratemporal complications such as petrositis, labyrinthitis, subperiosteal abscess, or labyrinthine fistula, intracranial complications such as brain abscess and meningitis, presence of fibrous tissue, tympanosclerosis, formation of new bone matter, ossicle erosion, and displacement and extension of cholesteatoma to sinuses.


High Resolution CT scans of the temporal bone in mastoiditis patients are the preferred diagnostic tool and may reveal complications including the following: [1][2][3][4][5]

Acute mastoiditis

Sub acute and chronic mastoiditis

Primary imaging findings for chronic mastoiditis include the following:

High Resolution CT scanning (HRCT) is the best tool to evaluate ossicular chain, tympanic cavity walls, and the mastoid itself; however, HRCT is unable to differentiate between different types of effusions in the tympanic cavity, and evaluation of cholesteatoma can be challenging.

CT Examples of Otitis Media


  1. Lin HW, Shargorodsky J, Gopen Q (2010). "Clinical strategies for the management of acute mastoiditis in the pediatric population". Clin Pediatr (Phila). 49 (2): 110–5. doi:10.1177/0009922809344349. PMID 19734439.
  2. Stähelin-Massik J, Podvinec M, Jakscha J, Rüst ON, Greisser J, Moschopulos M, Gnehm HE (2008). "Mastoiditis in children: a prospective, observational study comparing clinical presentation, microbiology, computed tomography, surgical findings and histology". Eur. J. Pediatr. 167 (5): 541–8. doi:10.1007/s00431-007-0549-1. PMID 17668240.
  3. Trojanowska A, Drop A, Trojanowski P, Rosińska-Bogusiewicz K, Klatka J, Bobek-Billewicz B (2012). "External and middle ear diseases: radiological diagnosis based on clinical signs and symptoms". Insights Imaging. 3 (1): 33–48. doi:10.1007/s13244-011-0126-z. PMC 3292638. PMID 22695997.
  4. Pellegrini S, Gonzalez Macchi ME, Sommerfleck PA, Bernáldez PC (2012). "Intratemporal complications from acute otitis media in children: 17 cases in two years". Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 63 (1): 21–5. doi:10.1016/j.otorri.2011.06.007. PMID 21982482.
  5. van den Aardweg MT, Rovers MM, de Ru JA, Albers FW, Schilder AG (2008). "A systematic review of diagnostic criteria for acute mastoiditis in children". Otol. Neurotol. 29 (6): 751–7. doi:10.1097/MAO.0b013e31817f736b. PMID 18617870.
  6. "Middle ear | Radiology Reference Article |".

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