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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Congenital cholesteatoma (type)
  • Primary acquired cholesteatoma (type)
  • Secondary acquired cholesteatoma (type)
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Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst located in the middle ear. It can be congenital (present from birth), but it more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.[1] The hallmark symptom is a painless discharge from the ear.[2] Hearing loss, dizziness, and facial muscle paralysis are rare but can result from continued cholesteatoma growth.[3] Surgery can stop infections and prevent complications.[4]  
Last updated: 12/30/2009


  1. Lipkin A. Cholesteatoma. MedlinePlus. 2008; Accessed 12/30/2009.
  2. Roland PS. Cholesteatoma. eMedicine. 2008; Accessed 12/30/2009.
  3. Cholesteatoma. Vestibular Disorders Association Website. 2009; Accessed 12/30/2009.
  4. Cholesteatoma. The Merck Manual of Geriatrics. 2006; Accessed 12/30/2009.
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