Otitis externa laboratory findings

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Otitis externa Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S.; Tarek Nafee, M.D. [2]


Laboratory findings consistent with diagnosis of all forms of otitis externa include evidence of bacterial or fungal infection. Findings may also include markers of inflammation such as an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and elevated white blood cell count.

Laboratory Findings


Otitis externa from a suspected bacterial infection may be determined by the following tests:


Otitis externa from a suspected fungal infection will be determined by the following tests:

Common Laboratory Findings

Complete blood count

Inflammatory markers

Otitis externa patients may display the following findings on inflammatory marker tests:


  1. Llor, C.; McNulty, C. A. M.; Butler, C. C. (2014). "Ordering and interpreting ear swabs in otitis externa". BMJ. 349 (sep01 2): g5259–g5259. doi:10.1136/bmj.g5259. ISSN 1756-1833.
  2. Beveridge TJ (2001). "Use of the gram stain in microbiology". Biotech Histochem. 76 (3): 111–8. PMID 11475313.
  3. Khan AA, Cerniglia CE (1994). "Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from clinical and environmental samples by amplification of the exotoxin A gene using PCR". Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60 (10): 3739–45. PMC 201881. PMID 7986047.
  4. Brakstad OG, Aasbakk K, Maeland JA (1992). "Detection of Staphylococcus aureus by polymerase chain reaction amplification of the nuc gene". J. Clin. Microbiol. 30 (7): 1654–60. PMC 265359. PMID 1629319.
  5. Kaur R, Mittal N, Kakkar M, Aggarwal AK, Mathur MD (2000). "Otomycosis: a clinicomycologic study". Ear Nose Throat J. 79 (8): 606–9. PMID 10969470.
  6. "Aspergillus Otomycosis | Aspergillus & Aspergillosis Website".
  7. Van Burik JA, Myerson D, Schreckhise RW, Bowden RA (1998). "Panfungal PCR assay for detection of fungal infection in human blood specimens". J. Clin. Microbiol. 36 (5): 1169–75. PMC 104793. PMID 9574670.
  8. Bovo R, Benatti A, Ciorba A, Libanore M, Borrelli M, Martini A (2012). "Pseudomonas and Aspergillus interaction in malignant external otitis: risk of treatment failure". Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 32 (6): 416–9. PMC 3552534. PMID 23349563.

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