A comparison of mastoid pneumatization in adults and children with cholesteatoma

J. Sadé*, C. Fuchs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The records of 190 adults who presented over a 10-year period with previously untreated aural cholesteatomas were analyzed with respect to age, mode of presentation at the level of the tympanic membrane, and pneumatization of the mastoid. The findings were compared with those obtained in an earlier study of 109 children (aged 13 years and younger) seen over the same period of time. Two main types of cholesteatomas were found in both adults and children, most of them (82.3%) associated with sclerotic or diploic mastoids (i.e., poorly pneumatized mastoids) and the rest (17.3%) with pneumatized mastoids. The former type was found more often in adults (96.3%) than in children (57.8%), while the latter was more frequent in children (42.2% as compared to 3.7% in adults). In both adults and children, cholesteatomas associated with poorly pneumatized mastoids showed mainly an attic and mastoid distribution communicating with a pars tensa or pars flaccida retraction or marginal perforation. Cholesteatomas associated with pneumatized mastoids appeared most often behind an intact drum (the so-called congenital cholesteatomas) and were distributed mainly in the tympanic cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • Cholesteatomas
  • Chronic otitis media
  • Mastoid pneumatization
  • Middle ear atelectasis
  • Tympanic membrane retraction pockets


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