Author(s): Poorva Chandrashekhar Kale1, Anju Unnikrishnan2, James Thomas3, Rashmi Prashant Rajashekhar4, Nayanna Santosh Karodpati5
In spite of a significant decrease in cases of chronic otitis media following the advent of antibiotics, complications of otitis media still represent a challenging situation owing to their high mortality rate. Factors that can cause complications include the level of virulence of the infectious organism, poor resistance of the patient, the presence of chronic systemic diseases and resistance of the infecting organism to antibiotics. The contemporary risk for developing extracranial complications of otitis media is approximately twice that of developing intracranial complications. Inflammation and infection may result in necrosis of the mastoid tip, allowing the pus to track from the medial side of the mastoid process through the incisura digastrica (digastric groove). The pus is prevented from reaching the body surface by the neck musculature, but can track along the fascial planes of the digastric muscle, sternomastoid or trapezius muscles. Pneumatisation of the mastoid process leads to thinning of the bone and is considered an important factor in the development of a trapezius or Bezold’s abscess.