Trends and Outcomes of Fungal Temporal Bone Osteomyelitis: A Scoping Review

Otol Neurotol. 2022 Dec 1;43(10):1095-1107. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000003714.


Introduction: Temporal bone osteomyelitis is an invasive infection most often caused by bacteria and associated with high mortality. Fungal etiologies are rare and little is known of the predictors of disease severity and outcomes in fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis.

Materials and methods: A scoping review was performed to determine what is known from the literature on how clinical, diagnostic, and treatment characteristics relate to patient outcomes in fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis. Using PRISMA guidelines, three databases were searched to identify all published cases of fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis. Data were extracted from each study, including clinical, diagnostic, and treatment characteristics, and outcomes.

Results: Sixty-eight studies comprising 74 individual cases of fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis were included. All studies were case reports. There were high rates of diabetes, facial nerve palsy, infectious complications, and need for surgical intervention, as well as a significant delay in the evaluation and diagnosis of fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis. Disease recovery was greater in patients presenting with otorrhea, comorbid diabetes, and in those without facial nerve palsy.

Discussion: Many of the defining characteristics of fungal temporal bone osteomyelitis remain unknown, and future reports should focus on determining factors that improve timely diagnosis and treatment of fungal TBO in addition to identifying prognostic indicators for outcomes and survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Osteomyelitis* / epidemiology
  • Osteomyelitis* / therapy
  • Paralysis / complications
  • Prognosis
  • Temporal Bone