External ear tumors - benign / nonneoplastic
Keratosis obturans

Topic Completed: 1 October 2013

Revised: 26 August 2019

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PubMed Search: Keratosis obturans

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 1,463
Page views in 2019 to date: 1,669
Cite this page: Pernick N. Keratosis obturans. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/earkeratosisobturans.html. Accessed October 19th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Accumulation of keratin debris deep within external auditory canal, which may cause bone remodeling and inflamed epithelium
  • May cause severe erosion of petrous bone (Br J Radiol 1975;48:170)
Case reports
  • Removal of keratin plug
  • Surgery not required
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Tightly packed keratin squames in lamellar pattern
  • Diffuse acanthosis and hyperkeratosis of skin of canal with underlying chronic inflammatory infiltrate
  • No osteonecrosis, no overlying epithelial loss
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