Computed tomography features of middle ear cholesteatoma in dogs

Travetti O, Giudice C, Greci V, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2010;51:374-379.

We describe the computed tomography (CT) findings in 11 dogs with middle ear cholesteatoma. The cholesteatoma appeared as an expansile tympanic cavity mass with a mean attenuation value of 55.8 +/- 4.2 Hounsfield units. There was no appreciable contrast enhancement of the tympanic bulla contense but ring enhancement was seen in four dogs. Due to the slow progressive growth, the lesion causes severe bone changes at the contour of the tympanic bulla, including osteolysis, osteoproliferation and osteosclerosis, expansion of the tympanic cavity, and sclerosis or osteoproliferation of the ipsilateral temporomandibular joint and paracondylar process. Cholesteatoma can cause lysis of the petrosal part of the temporal bone, leading to intracranial complications. Although not definitive, CT provides useful information for distinguishing a middle ear cholesteatoma from otitis media and neoplasia. In otitis media, enlargement of the tympanic cavity is not routinely observed. In tumors that primarily affect the middle or inner ear, the predominant signs are lysis of the contour of the tympanic bulla or the petrosal part of the temporal bone, soft tissue swelling around the middle ear and marked contrast enhancement. In tumors that arise from the external ear, a soft tissue mass is visible within the external acusticus meatus, and the middle ear is only involved secondarily.