Cholesteatoma: an abnormal growth of tissue behind the eardrum, in the middle ear. A cholesteatoma is not cancerous. Repeated ear infections and trauma to the eardrum can lead to a cholesteatoma. The growth may take the form of a pouch or sac. In some cases a cholesteatoma can grow to a size that destroys the surrounding bones of the middle ear, leading to hearing loss. Surgery can often improve the symptoms and is recommended for a large or complicated cholesteatoma. Other symptoms can include discharge or pus draining from the ear, a sense of fullness in the ear, dizziness, and pain behind or in the ear.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.