Of the many causes of conductive hearing impairment, few are as rare as the petrified ear. Petrified ears describe auricular cartilage hardening, due usually to ectopic calcification or, less commonly, ossification. The process can affect the auricle either completely or partially without any visible external change. It is an uncommon clinical entity, identified mainly in dermatology texts and unreported in the adult radiology literature. Only 12 histologically proven cases have been reported in the English-language literature of auricular ossification. We report a case of idiopathic bilateral auricular calcification presenting with a conductive hearing impairment in an adult female. The diagnosis was made on imaging alone. We discuss the systemic causes associated with this unusual clinical entity and review the literature on "petrified ears.".
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging