Surgical management of petrous apex cholesteatomas in the pediatric population: A systematic review

Taylor Reardon, Morgan Turnow, Sidney Elston, Nolan J. Brown, Gretchen M. Koller, Shelly Sharma, Michael W. Kortz, Ahmed Mohyeldin, Justin F. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Cholesteatomas are growths of squamous epithelium that can form inside the middle ear and mastoid cavity and damage nearby structures causing hearing loss when located at the petrous apex. The primary goal of petrous apex cholesteatoma resection is gross total removal with tympanoplasty and canal-wall up or canal-wall down tympanomastoidectomy. At present, there is no definitive surgical approach supported by greater than level 4 evidence in the literature to date. Methods: A systematic review was conducted utilizing PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Articles were screened and selected to be reviewed in full text. The articles that met inclusion criteria were reviewed for relevant data. Data analysis, means, and standard deviations were calculated using Microsoft Excel. Results: After screening, five articles were included in the systematic review. There were a total of eight pediatric patients with nine total cholesteatomas removed. Conductive hearing loss was the most common (77%) presenting symptom. Perforations were noted in seven ears (86%). Recurrence was noted in 50% of patients with an average recurrence rate of 3.5 years (SD = 1.73). Average length of follow-up was 32.6 months (SD = 21.7). Canal-wall up was the most utilized technique (60%) and there were zero noted surgical complications. Five of the seven (71%) patients that experienced hearing loss from perforation noted improved hearing. Conclusion: Due to its rarity, diagnostic evaluation and treatment can vary. Further, multi-institutional investigation is necessary to develop population-level management protocols for pediatric patients affected by petrous apex cholesteatomas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA52
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Published by Scientific Scholar on behalf of Surgical Neurology International.


  • Cholesteatoma
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Petrous apex
  • Skull base

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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