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Clin Otolaryngol. 2008 Dec;33(6):553-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-4486.2008.01813.x.

Prospective cohort comparison of bioactive glass implants and conchal cartilage in reconstruction of the posterior canal wall during tympanomastoidectomy.

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Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.



To compare the effectiveness of bioactive glass implants and conchal cartilage in reconstructing the posterior canal wall during tympanomastoidectomy.


Prospective cohort clinical study.


Teaching hospital.


Patients with clinically diagnosed chronic suppurative otitis media and cholesteatoma awaiting tympanomastoidectomy were recruited.


All patients underwent tympanomastoidectomy by the same surgeon. A first cohort of 12 patients underwent posterior canal wall reconstruction with autogenous conchal cartilage. A second cohort of 12 patients underwent such reconstruction with prefabricated bioactive glass.


Primary- All patients underwent out-patient review at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively, after which a second-look procedure was performed. Reconstructions were inspected for evidence of epithelialization, granulation, infection, stenosis, depression and extrusion. Secondary- All patients had perioperative serial pure-tone audiometry to check for any change in hearing levels upto 1 year postoperatively.


By 1 year postoperatively, both reconstructive graft materials showed good epithelialization, no granulation, no infection, no ear canal stenosis, no depression and no extrusion. At operative second-looks, bioactive glass particularly showed good tissue bonding, including both neovascularization and connective tissue integration. Overall clinical outcome was equivalent for both materials. Both graft materials showed no statistically significant difference in postoperative hearing levels.


Bioactive glass and conchal cartilage showed equivalent clinical outcome in reconstructing the posterior canal wall without significantly affecting hearing levels. As bioactive glass does not require second site morbidity and thus also reduces operative time, we prefer it for reconstructing the posterior canal wall following tympanomastoidectomy.

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