Eustachian Tube Function Varies over Time in Children with Secretory Otitis Media
Authors: Bunne, Marie; Magnuson, Bengt; Falk, Bernt; Hellström, Sten
Source: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Volume 120, Number 6, 12 October 2000 , pp. 716-723(8)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Impaired opening and closing functions of the Eustachian tube are considered to be pathogenic factors in secretory otitis media (SOM). As the clinical course of SOM is variable, the variability of tubal function is of interest. We aimed to explore the short- and long-term variability of tubal opening and closing functions in SOM. The study comprised 42 ears in 21 children (13 males and 8 females) with tympanostomy tubes due to SOM. The middle ear pressure was recorded during repeated passive forced openings, equalization of +100 daPa and −100 daPa by swallowing, Valsalva inflation and forceful sniffing. Test sessions were performed twice (separated by 30 min) on each of 2 days, with a mean interval of 3.7 months in between. In the forced opening test there was a considerable intra-individual variability over time. Expressed as SD of the mean, the variability of the forced opening and closing pressures in individual ears was on average 15% and 23%, respectively, between sessions and 20% and 30%, respectively, between test days. In the equalization, Valsalva and sniff tests the rates of responses that changed from positive to negative between sessions and test days ranged from 12% to 33%. Female gender and retraction pockets were related to poorer opening function in the forced opening test. Ears with serous effusion (in contrast to mucoid) showed a similar trend and also a lower occurrence of positive equalization, Valsalva and sniff tests. It was concluded that Eustachian tube opening and closing functions are highly variable in ears with SOM. Consequently, single tubal function tests have low value when used as a prognostic tool in individual ears.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Sunderby Hospital, SE-971 80 Luleå, Sweden
Publication date: October 12, 2000