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Keratosis Obturans
Philip R. Chapman, MD; H. Ric Harnsberger, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Clinical Issues

          • Diagnostic Checklist

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Keratosis obturans (KO)
            • Synonyms

              • Laminated epithelial "plug;" keratin "plug"
            • Definitions

              • KO: Abnormal accumulation and obstruction of bony external auditory canal (EAC) from desquamated keratin without erosive bony changes

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • CT Findings

                • MR Findings

                  • Imaging Recommendations

                    DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                      PATHOLOGY

                      • General Features

                        • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                          • Microscopic Features

                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                            • Presentation

                              • Demographics

                                • Natural History & Prognosis

                                  • Treatment

                                    DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                      Selected References

                                      1. Chen KW et al: Keratosis obturans of the external auditory canal with the complication of acute taste loss. Ear Nose Throat J.145561320947271, 2020
                                      2. Alarouj H et al: A recurrent misdiagnosed and maltreated case of keratosis obturans. Case Rep Otolaryngol. 2019:9095747, 2019
                                      3. Singh A et al: A wolf in sheep's clothing: keratosis obturans causing facial nerve palsy - a case report with review of the literature. Turk Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 57(2):102-4, 2019
                                      4. Chong AW et al: Keratosis obturans: a disease of the tropics? Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 69(3):291-5, 2017
                                      5. Park SY et al: Clinical characteristics of keratosis obturans and external auditory canal cholesteatoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 152(2):326-30, 2015
                                      6. Shinnabe A et al: A comparison of patterns of disease extension in keratosis obturans and external auditory canal cholesteatoma. Otol Neurotol. 34(1):91-4, 2013
                                      7. Spielmann PM et al: Surgical management of external auditory canal lesions. J Laryngol Otol. 127(3):246-51, 2013
                                      8. Saunders NC et al: Complications of keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 120(9):740-4, 2006
                                      9. Loock J: Keratosis obturans and external ear cholesteatoma. Clin Otolaryngol. 30(2):213; author reply 213-4, 2005
                                      10. Kuczkowski J et al: Immunohistochemical and histopathological features of keratosis obturans and cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal. Atypical keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 118(3):249-50; author reply 250-1, 2004
                                      11. Persaud RA et al: Keratosis obturans and external ear canal cholesteatoma: how and why we should distinguish between these conditions. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 29(6):577-81, 2004
                                      12. Persaud R et al: Atypical keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 117(9):725-7, 2003
                                      13. Shire JR et al: Cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal and keratosis obturans. Am J Otol. 7(5):361-4, 1986
                                      14. Naiberg J et al: The pathologic features of keratosis obturans and cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal. Arch Otolaryngol. 110(10):690-3, 1984
                                      Related Anatomy
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                                      Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                      References
                                      Tables

                                      Tables

                                      KEY FACTS

                                      • Terminology

                                        • Imaging

                                          • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                            • Clinical Issues

                                              • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                TERMINOLOGY

                                                • Abbreviations

                                                  • Keratosis obturans (KO)
                                                • Synonyms

                                                  • Laminated epithelial "plug;" keratin "plug"
                                                • Definitions

                                                  • KO: Abnormal accumulation and obstruction of bony external auditory canal (EAC) from desquamated keratin without erosive bony changes

                                                IMAGING

                                                • General Features

                                                  • CT Findings

                                                    • MR Findings

                                                      • Imaging Recommendations

                                                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                          PATHOLOGY

                                                          • General Features

                                                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                              • Microscopic Features

                                                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                • Presentation

                                                                  • Demographics

                                                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                      • Treatment

                                                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                        • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                          Selected References

                                                                          1. Chen KW et al: Keratosis obturans of the external auditory canal with the complication of acute taste loss. Ear Nose Throat J.145561320947271, 2020
                                                                          2. Alarouj H et al: A recurrent misdiagnosed and maltreated case of keratosis obturans. Case Rep Otolaryngol. 2019:9095747, 2019
                                                                          3. Singh A et al: A wolf in sheep's clothing: keratosis obturans causing facial nerve palsy - a case report with review of the literature. Turk Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 57(2):102-4, 2019
                                                                          4. Chong AW et al: Keratosis obturans: a disease of the tropics? Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 69(3):291-5, 2017
                                                                          5. Park SY et al: Clinical characteristics of keratosis obturans and external auditory canal cholesteatoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 152(2):326-30, 2015
                                                                          6. Shinnabe A et al: A comparison of patterns of disease extension in keratosis obturans and external auditory canal cholesteatoma. Otol Neurotol. 34(1):91-4, 2013
                                                                          7. Spielmann PM et al: Surgical management of external auditory canal lesions. J Laryngol Otol. 127(3):246-51, 2013
                                                                          8. Saunders NC et al: Complications of keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 120(9):740-4, 2006
                                                                          9. Loock J: Keratosis obturans and external ear cholesteatoma. Clin Otolaryngol. 30(2):213; author reply 213-4, 2005
                                                                          10. Kuczkowski J et al: Immunohistochemical and histopathological features of keratosis obturans and cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal. Atypical keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 118(3):249-50; author reply 250-1, 2004
                                                                          11. Persaud RA et al: Keratosis obturans and external ear canal cholesteatoma: how and why we should distinguish between these conditions. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 29(6):577-81, 2004
                                                                          12. Persaud R et al: Atypical keratosis obturans. J Laryngol Otol. 117(9):725-7, 2003
                                                                          13. Shire JR et al: Cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal and keratosis obturans. Am J Otol. 7(5):361-4, 1986
                                                                          14. Naiberg J et al: The pathologic features of keratosis obturans and cholesteatoma of the external auditory canal. Arch Otolaryngol. 110(10):690-3, 1984