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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol Suppl. 1980 May-Jun;89(3 Pt 2):79-82.

Secretory otitis media and mastoid pneumatization.


The objective of this study is to correlate in children with chronic secretory otitis media the extent of pneumatization with morphological and functional end results after therapy. For this purpose we examined 82 children and adolescents (147 ears), who 5 to 8 years previously were treated with insertion of ventilating tubes for chronic secretory otitis media. We evaluated the morphological and functional end results with otomicroscopy, pure tone audiometry, tympanometry and stapedial reflex testing. Roentgenograms of the temporal bones in a lateral projection were taken initially in 96 ears and at time of control in 145 ears. We judged the size of the mastoid air cell system by visual estimation and classified the mastoids according to the extent of pneumatization into three groups: large, middle-sized and small (sclerotic). Twenty-five percent of the ears had sclerotic mastoids at time of control. Statistically significant correlations exist between arrested pneumatization (sclerotic mastoids), major morphological changes in the tympanic membranes and unfavorable functional results. Also the correlation between sclerotic mastoids and the number of tube insertions required in the course of the disease is statistically significant. But no correlation can be established between the physical properties of secretions and the extent of pneumatization. Arrest of pneumatization leading to a small mastoid air cell system constitutes an unfavorable prognostic factor for the final outcome of chronic secretory otitis media.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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