Petrified auricle is a condition of the ears that may be associated with local trauma, severe cold exposure (frost bite), hypopituitarism or Addison's disease. The disease is often bilateral and the clinical diagnosis can easily be confirmed by an X-ray. Partial cases are commonly seen on CT scan [Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Jan;271(1):195-7.]. It only affects older individuals.
The ear itself looks normal, without any changes to the skin. However the normally soft and malleable external ear is rigid and hard. Patients are usually asymptomatic, but pain on sleeping may be reported.
This finding is often incidental and no workup is usually necessary. If desired, work up may include complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, thyroid function tests, parathyroid hormone levels, vitamin D, and serum calcium and phosphorus.
No treatment is known for the ear. Any systemic disease should be treated. Rarely, surgery may be done, e.g. wedge resection of the affected cartilage or conchal reduction surgery.