The authors report a case of fungal otitis media complicated by extension of the infection into adjacent structures causing apical petrositis and subsequently involvement of the jugular foramen in a 71-year-old diabetic man. First described in 1907, Gradenigo’s syndrome is a serious but rare clinical triad of acute otitis media, unilateral pain in the distribution of cranial nerve V (trigeminal) and ipsilateral cranial nerve VI (abducens) palsy that commonly presents without all three features and is therefore often missed. In this report, our patient was initially misdiagnosed as having a diabetic cranial neuropathy, and later he developed Vernet’s syndrome. Despite aggressive surgical and medical management, he did poorly and died a few weeks later. Clinicians need to be aware of this serious and life-threatening complication of otitis media in high-risk individuals with diabetes or immunocompromised states, to allow early diagnosis and improved clinical outcomes.
- cranial nerves
- infection (neurology)
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Contributors Both authors contributed equally to the design and conceptualisation of the study. MAP drafted the manuscript for intellectual content and VHP revised the manuscript for intellectual content
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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