In 1829, Cruveilhier1 described a number of cases of what he named "pearly tumors." The name "cholesteatoma" was first used for these conditions by Johannes Müller in 1838 when he described eight cases. Virchow,2 writing in 1855, regarded the condition as an epithelial new growth which he thought should be called a pearly tumor. He, together with Cruveilhier, Rokitansky and the earlier pathologic anatomists, regarded all cholesteatomas as heteroplastic new growths because these tumors, similar in all their characteristics, could be found both in the ear and in the rest of the skull attached to the pia or springing from it.
As cases of cholesteatoma of the temporal bone began to multiply, and because of their frequent association with suppuration of the middle ear, otologists began to investigate the condition more intensively. Gruber in 1862 and von Tröltsch in 1868 2 were the first to suggest that these
GROVE WE. PRIMARY CHOLESTEATOMA OF THE TEMPORAL BONE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1929;10(4):398–408. doi:10.1001/archotol.1929.00620070072003
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