[Cleft palate and dysfunction of the eustachian tube].Acta Biomed Ateneo Parmense. 1998; 69(5-6):129-32.AB
Secretory otitis media (SOM) is a frequent complication in infants with cleft palate. In cleft palate the muscles that open the Eustachian tube (tensor palatini and levator palatini) have abnormal connections thereby making the tube opening either difficult or impossible. This will lead to secretory otitis media in 95% of cases, since the middle ear will not be aerated. In this paper, 14 patients operated on for cleft palate during the first year of life were examined. SOM was treated only by medical therapy without the insertion of tympanostomy tubes. Post-operative follow-up ranged from 2 months to 5 years. In all patient SOM was still present at last follow-up with poor efficacy of medical therapy. Therefore, our therapeutic protocol includes myringotomy and insertion of tympanostomy tubes during the first general anesthesia for cleft palate treatment.