Metastatic Carcinoma

Metastasis of malignant neoplasms to the temporal bone including the middle ear is not uncommon. The breast is the commonest primary source of metastatic tumours, followed by lung, kidney, stomach, larynx and cutaneous malignant melanoma [43, 48]. Two distinct modes of spread may be involved in bringing the neoplasms from their primary sites to the middle ear: (a) along vascular channels in the petrous bone (these convey tumour deposits to the temporal bone from distant sites), and (b) along nerves emanating from the internal auditory meatus into the labyrinthine structures and bone. In this way, tumours reaching the meninges may spread into the temporal bone. In addition, direct spread may bring tumours into the ear from primary sites in areas adjacent to the temporal bone.

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