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January 4, 1995

Fungi as a Cause of Otitis-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1995;273(1):25. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520250039027

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In Reply.  —Dr Patow has made a useful point: molds often grow on the superficial detritus that collects in the external auditory canal of persons with chronic external otitis, and thorough, repeated cleansing is the mainstay of therapy. To use the term "otomycosis" may imply either that the fungus is invading viable tissue, which is indeed rare, or that the fungus is in some way adding to the inflammatory response, which is plausible, but hard to prove.It may prevent confusion if we call one entity "invasive Aspergillus otitis" and the other common entity "otomycosis." Similar terminology has been useful in distinguishing invasive Pseudomonas otitis from Pseudomonas isolated from patients with swimmer's ear. In Pseudomonas and Aspergillus infections, systemic therapy is warranted, in contrast to local therapy only for the superficial entities.

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