To compare the effectiveness of myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion versus observation in post-radiation otitis media with effusion (OME) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). NPC patients who finished radiotherapy and had persistent OME were randomized to myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion and observation groups. The resolution rate of OME and hearing outcomes were evaluated. Forty three patients (23 in control group and 20 in intervention group) were analyzed. One patient in the control group obtained a resolution of OME. The remaining patients in the control group had persistent middle ear fluid. Fourteen patients in the intervention group had retained ventilation tubes without otorrhea. Ventilation tubes had spontaneously extruded in the remaining six patients and all of these patients had recurrent OME. Mean air-pure tone average in the control group was 52.04 dB (SD 11.61), significantly different from the intervention group [38.15 dB (SD 19.10); p = 0.01]. Mean air-bone gap in the control and intervention groups were 27.30 dB (SD 9.11) and 9.30 dB (SD 9.59) respectively (p < 0.001). Mean air-pure tone average and mean air-bone gap improvement was significantly improved in the intervention group (p < 0.001). Two patients in the intervention group (10%) developed complications, one patient suffering suppurative otitis media whilst another had otorrhea, which resolved after 1-week course of antibiotic treatment. Post-radiation OME is common in patients with NPC and tends to persist long-term. Conservative management is safe, however, is plagued by frustrating effects of hearing impairment and aural fullness. Myringotomy with ventilation tube insertion leads to hearing improvement with few complications.
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology – Springer Journals
Published: May 24, 2017
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