Bilateral grommets

Case contributed by Yusra Sheikh


Referred for CT temporal bones to assess both middle ears and mastoid air cells. Has had bilateral grommets in situ. On examination was found to have a normal left tympanic membrane with grommet in situ. However, there was inflammation of the left tympanic membrane with grommet in situ.

Patient Data

Age: 7 years
Gender: Male

Coned axial CT of bilateral temporal bones.

Bilateral ear grommets in situ. Both the external auditory canals are clear. The middle ear ossicles are intact. Both middle ear cavities are grossly clear. Partial opacification of the right mastoid air cells is seen. The left mastoid air cells are clear. 

Case Discussion

Commonest indication for tympanostomy tubes such as grommets is chronic or recurrent otitis media with effusion  that fails to respond to intensive antibiotic treatment.

CT is not performed to evaluate these tubes but it is important to recognize and accurately report them to avoid misidentifying them as a foreign body or dislocated ossicle. 

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