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April 1968

Hypesthesia of the External Auditory Canal: Diagnostic Significance

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Otology Section, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(4):373-375. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060375006

UNILATERAL external auditory canal hypesthesia has been observed by us from time to time in examining patients with a variety of otologic conditions. Hitselberger and House1 drew attention to this phenomenon as a possible diagnostic sign in acoustic neurinoma when they reported hypesthesia on the involved side in 25 operated neurinoma cases. They attributed this unilateral hypesthesia to the external auditory canal distribution of a small cutaneous sensory branch of the facial nerve. The hypesthesia was considered to be an expression of a pressure phenomenon on the seventh nerve by the tumor while still confined to the internal auditory meatus. Although the authors did point out the occurrence of many "false positive tests," they nevertheless stated that "external canal hypesthesia may be an early sign of acoustic tumor."

Based on our own more sporadic observations of this phenomenon, it seemed advisable to undertake a study of the occurrence of

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