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Acta Otolaryngol. 1998 Jun;118(3):369-74.

Continuous long-term measurements of the middle ear pressure in subjects without a history of ear disease.

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  • 1Department of Oto-rhino-laryngology, University Hospital, University of the Lund, Malm√∂, Sweden.


A new method was used for continuous measurement of the middle ear (ME) pressure during a 24-h period. In 10 subjects without a history of ear disease a small perforation was made through the tympanic membrane. A tight rubber stopper containing a small polyethylene tube was fitted into the external ear canal. Conventional tubal function tests were performed. The equipment was then carried by the subjects for 24 h of normal activity to monitor any slow or rapid dynamic pressure change in the ME. Body position was found to be the most important factor affecting ME pressure variation, during the 24-h continuous pressure measurements. A significant pressure rise occurred in the recumbent position in all but one subject. Few rapid pressure equilibrations were seen during the recordings, indicating few tubal openings. This implies that the pressure changes in the ME seen in this study were mainly the result of gas exchange over the mucosa. The investigation might be a base for reference when investigating different kinds of pathologic conditions in the ear.

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