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Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma in the tympanic membrane

, : Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma in the tympanic membrane. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology 41(2): 272-274

Primary tympanic membrane cancer is very rare; metastatic cancer to the tympanic membrane is extremely rare and presents diagnostic challenges. We report a case of metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma in the tympanic membrane. The presenting symptom was hearing loss. Physical examination revealed a friable granulomatous mass over the left anterior tympanic membrane extended from the external auditory canal. Computed tomography scan of the temporal bone revealed one soft tissue mass involving the left external auditory canal and tympanic membrane. A left middle ear mass biopsy was performed. The tumor cells were uniformly positive for cytokeratin and hepatocyte paraffin-1, confirming a diagnosis of metastatic tympanic membrane. A tympanic membrane mass might easily be misdiagnosed and improperly treated. This case serves as a reminder that the differential diagnosis of acute hearing loss in cancer patients should include the metastasis occurring in the auditory canal or tympanic membrane, and that tissue biopsies are necessary to establish the definitive diagnosis for such lesions.


PMID: 20926410

DOI: 10.1093/jjco/hyq175

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