Idiopathic inflammatory medial meatal fibrotizing otitis (IMFO) is rare. Only a few cases with unknown cause have been reported.
To report 3 cases of IMFO as a specific diagnostic entity.
Two adults and 1 child with bilateral IMFO were observed for several years at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
Only the osseous part of the external ear canals was affected by IMFO. The skin and skin organs over the lateral cartilage of the ear canals remained rigorously and constantly uninflamed through the active, relentless progression of the disease over several years, resulting in the formation of a fibrous plug of the medial meatal canal. The middle ears and mastoid air cells were not affected during the active inflammatory phase.
IMFO has its own specific pathophysiologic characteristics, and perhaps also etiopathologic characteristics, which are still unknown.