Malignant otitis externa hospitalizations: Analysis of patient characteristics

Michael J. Sylvester, Saurin Sanghvi, Viral M. Patel, Jean Anderson Eloy, Yu Lan Mary Ying

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Malignant otitis externa (MOE) is a rare disorder that is not well studied in the inpatient setting. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was utilized to analyze characteristics and predischarge outcomes of hospitalized MOE patients. Methods: MOE hospitalizations were identified in the 2002 to 2013 NIS. Patient demographics, length of hospital stay, hospital charges, concomitant diagnoses, treatment-related procedures, complications, and in-hospital mortality rates were examined, with comparisons made among age cohorts and between diabetes mellitus (DM) and non-DM groups. Results: A total of 8,300 cases of inpatient MOE were identified, with elderly DM patients compromising 22.7% of cases. Compared to adults, elderly patients had more inpatient procedures, longer hospitalizations (6.0 vs. 4.3 days), higher hospital charges ($26,712 vs. $19,047) (all P < 0.001), greater odds of in-hospital complications, and in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 14.435, 95% confidence interval 5.313–39.220). Adult/elderly patients with DM had more comorbidities, longer hospital stays (5.5 vs. 4.0 days), and higher hospital charges ($25,118 vs. $17,039) (all P < 0.001) than non-DM patients. However, DM was not associated with greater in-hospital mortality rates (0.6% vs. 0.5%; P = 0.640). Compared to the adult/elderly cohort, pediatric patients had higher rates of nonelective admissions (19.8% vs. 14.5%), shorter hospital stays (2.9 vs. 4.9 days), and lower hospital charges ($8,876 vs. $21,672) (all P < 0.05). Conclusion: Elderly diabetic patients made up a smaller fraction of hospitalized MOE cases than anticipated. Elderly patients had greater in-hospital complications and mortality. Diabetes mellitus in adult/elderly patients was not associated with increased mortality. Pediatric patients fared well with low complications rates and no instances of in-hospital mortality. Level of Evidence: 2C. Laryngoscope, 127:2328–2336, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2328-2336
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • Malignant otitis externa (MOE)
  • National Inpatient Sample
  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)
  • diabetes
  • elderly
  • pediatric
  • progressive necrotizing otitis externa


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