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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2014 Jan;123(1):47-52. doi: 10.1177/0003489414521387.

Alternative to canal wall-down mastoidectomy for sclerotic mastoid cavities: epitympanoplasty with mastoid obliteration.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital (Heo), Busan, Republic of Korea.



Surgical procedures for chronic ear disease can be grossly divided into two tympanoplasty procedures: canal wall-up and canal wall-down (CWD) mastoidectomies. The choice depends on the surgeon's preference. Epitympanoplasty with mastoid obliteration (EMO) has shown postoperative results similar to those of CWD mastoidectomy with long-term follow-up. In this study, we compared the outcomes of EMO and CWD mastoidectomy in preoperatively sclerotic mastoid cavities with cholesteatoma, chronic otitis media with poor eustachian tube function, or adhesive otitis media. The operations were performed by the same surgeons in order to eliminate any effect of surgeon preference on the surgical outcomes.


We reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent tympanoplasty with EMO (EMO group) or CWD mastoidectomy (CWD group) and followed them for more than 28 months. The postoperative outcomes were analyzed and compared.


The EMO and CWD groups comprised 132 and 110 ears, respectively. In both groups, the air-bone gaps were significantly reduced after operation. The relapse rates of the groups were similar. Cavity problems were the most common complication in the CWD group. The overall complication rate in the EMO group was significantly lower than that in the CWD group (p = 0.044).


Epitympanoplasty with mastoid obliteration can be considered an alternative procedure to CWD mastoidectomy in patients with preoperatively sclerotic mastoid cavities. It gives similar surgical results and has fewer complications.


ear disease; mastoid cavity; surgery

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