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Clinical Note
September 15, 2008

Mycobacterium abscessus, an Uncommon Cause of Chronic Otitis Media: A Case Report and Literature Review

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Linmans and Stokroos) and Medical Microbiology (Dr Linssen), University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(9):1004-1006. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.9.1004

Otitis media with otorrhea is common in children. Worldwide, 4% of all otitis media in children is caused by tuberculous otitis media.1 Otitis media due to a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) is uncommon. Since the description of the first case in 1976, only 31 well-documented cases of middle ear infections caused by NTM have been reported.1-3 Originally, NTM were divided into 4 groups using the Runyon classification, based on growth rate and pigment production.4 However, in recent years more accurate species-specific identification by means of molecular techniques are available.5 Due to the increase of immunosuppressive conditions, the incidence of NTM infections has also increased.2 A relatively common NTM infection is cervical lymphadenitis.1,2,6,7