Which findings on otoscopic exam are characteristic of myringitis?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020
  • Author: John Schweinfurth, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
  • Print

Typical otoscopic examination results are as follows:

  • In cases of acute myringitis, the TM is evidently altered by the inflammatory process; it is red and deformed, and the light reflex is shortened or disappears completely.

  • Acute hemorrhagic myringitis can be the consequence of a bacterial infection such as S pneumoniae or a viral infection. Differential diagnoses for a red tympanic membrane are widely varied and include malformations, traumas, infections, and even tumors and other degenerative pathologies.

  • Acute bullous myringitis can also be the consequence of a bacterial or viral infection.

  • Myringitis granulosa, when the TM is covered with granulation tissue, may be observed.

  • When acute otitis has resolved, recognizing perforations of the TM is possible. These perforations are characterized by scarring (myringosclerosis) and areas of calcification.

  • In cases of chronic myringitis, the TM is perforated, with inflamed edges and granulation tissue.

  • Hearing loss may be noted.

  • Discharge from the EAC is present in some cases.

  • Some children experience pain upon traction of the pinna.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!