External ear tumors - benign / nonneoplastic

Topic Completed: 1 October 2013

Minor changes: 26 August 2019

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PubMed Search: Exostosis [title] ear

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Exostosis. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/earexostosis.html. Accessed September 23rd, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Also called surfer's ear
  • Reactive, localized overgrowth of bone with a broad base
  • Called osteoma if pedunculated
  • Arises from wall of external auditory canal
  • Usually multiple and bilateral; asymptomatic until large enough to block external auditory canal
  • Highest incidence in cold water swimmers and surfers in Australia and New Zealand (J Laryngol Otol 2004;118:348)
Gross description
  • Broad based, mound like bony proliferation resembling normal cortical bone (however pathologist usually only gets fragments)
  • No bone marrow spaces
  • Bone is covered by periosteum with overlying thin skin
Differential diagnosis
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