Mastoiditis

  • Definition

    Mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone of the skull. The mastoid is located just behind the outside ear.


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Mastoiditis is usually caused by a middle ear infection (acute otitis media). The infection may spread from the ear to the mastoid bone of the skull. The mastoid bone fills with infected materials and its honeycomb-like structure may deteriorate.

    Mastoiditis usually affects children. Before antibiotics, mastoiditis was one of the leading causes of death in children. Now it is a relatively uncommon and much less dangerous condition.