To the Editor.—I agree with Rubin and coworkers1 whose article appeared in the September 1989 issue of the Archives that ciprofloxacin is an effective treatment against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of the ear in cases that are diagnosed as "malignant external otitis."
For your information, I had the privilege of working as a resident under J. Ryan Chandler, MD, in the days when "malignant external otitis" was a uniformly fatal disease despite extensive surgical and, at that time, upto-date medical treatment.2,3 With the advent of modern intravenous antibiotic chemotherapy (gentamicin, carbenicillin), patients with malignant external otitis would be hospitalized for 6 weeks while therapy was ongoing. Most patients survived this treatment without extensive surgery.
Today, with the oral treatment of patients with malignant external otitis, using ciprofloxacin on an outpatient basis for 4 to 6 weeks, we are able to cure these patients who, 20 years ago, would
PICKARD RE. Caution Indicated in Prescribing Ciprofloxacin. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990;116(6):742. doi:10.1001/archotol.1990.01870060100025