Abstract: Necrotizing otitis externa (NOE) is a severe inflammatory process of the external ear and temporal bone. Although there are dozens of publications dealing with this serious condition, there are still fundamental issues not fully understood in the diagnosis and treatment of NOE. The aim of this review is to describe the current approach to the management of NOE and emphasize the main issues which lack data and need to be further evaluated.
Materials & methods: We used Pub Med/MEDLINE to search for review articles in English using keywords “necrotizing otitis externa”, “malignant otitis externa”, “necrosis”, “otitis externa”.
Conclusion: With increasing, antibiotic resistance rates, isolating the pathogen and gaining an antibiotic profile are of the utmost importance. Non-Pseudomonas A. NOE and mycotic NOE pose special treatment dilemma, and further data is required for establishing appropriate guidelines. The role of surgery is still unclear but seems to have a place in refractory and/or culture negative cases. Follow up for patients with NOE may be performed with the help of periodic nuclear imaging or with periodic measurements of inflammatory markers.