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Laryngoscope. 1985 Sep;95(9 Pt 1):1100-2.

The bifid uvula: is it a marker for an otitis prone child?


All children seen by a pediatrician in a suburban practice during an 18-month interval were examined carefully for the presence of an abnormal uvula. Isolated bifid uvula, without overt cleft palate, was detected among 44 children who had been followed in the practice during the first three years of life. A chart review was performed to determine the frequency of acute otitis media (AOM) and of insertion of tympanostomy tubes among these study patients and among age-matched controls with normal uvulas. Compared to control children, a slightly higher proportion of children with bifid uvulas had experienced more than one episode of AOM (64% vs. 49%) and more than three episodes of AOM (16% vs. 8%) during the first year of life, but these differences were not statistically significant. By age 3 years, the incidences of AOM in the compared groups were more nearly equal. Insertion of tympanostomy tubes during the first three years of life for persistent middle ear effusion was slightly more common among the bifid uvula group than among the controls (14% vs. 10%), but this difference again was not statistically significant. Children with bifid uvula may be at slightly increased risk of middle ear problems during the first years of life, but the magnitude of this increase, if any, appears small.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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