[Long term sequelae of otitis media with effusion during childhood].Otolaryngol Pol 2010 Jul-Aug; 64(4):234-9OP
Otitis media with effusion is the most common cause of hearing loss in children and myringotomy with tympanostomy tube insertion is recommended procedure to deal with the problem. The objective of the present study was to determine the results of treatment, incidence and prevalence of middle ear sequelae and hearing results among children with chronic otitis media with effusion who received standard treatment with tympanostomy tubes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The group of 97 patients treated by tympanostomy tubes insertion in the years 1999-2001 was reevaluated after mean period of follow up 7.3 years. At the control examination videootoscopy and audiologic examinations were performed. Audiological assessment consisted of tympanometry and pure-tone thresholds of air and bone conduction.
Recurrent otitis media with effusion requiring tube insertion occurred during follow up period in 23.7% of patients. At the control examination 16.5% of children had an ongoing otitis media or ventilation tube in place or tympanic membrane perforation. Most common tympanic membrane abnormality were focal atrophy (67.2% of ears) and myringosclerosis (39.5%) followed by retraction pockets of pars flaccida (29.9%) and tensa (9.6%). Mean pure-tone audiometric threshold were significantly higher in ears with tympanic membrane abnormality by the difference did not excide 5dB HL in ears with focal atrophy and myringosclerosis and 6.5 dB HL in ears with retraction pockets.
As the percentage of recurrences after tympanostomy tubes insertion are not uncommon prolonged period of follow up of those children is recommended. Although ventilation tubes have proven very effective in improving hearing in short term, they have not proven effective in preventing long-term sequelae of tympanic membrane and some degree of hearing loss. The decision about surgical treatment should be taken cautiously taking into account the chance of spontaneous resolution.