Otitis media with effusion in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, postirradiation.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Jul; 121(7):765-8.AO
Eighteen patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma were subjected to eustachian tube function testing before and 6 months and 5 years after irradiation at the university hospital to investigate the chronological changes of tubal function induced by irradiation and to study the development of otitis media with effusion after irradiation. Improvement of tubal function was found 5 years after irradiation in those ears without otitis media. However, in patients who had otitis media with effusion after irradiation, deterioration of tubal function was persistent, and inflammatory reaction was detected in the upper respiratory tract, including the maxillary sinus and nasopharynx. Thus, the development of otitis media with effusion after irradiation in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma is attributable to both tubal and inflammatory factors. Insertion of a ventilatory tube in ears can relieve tubal obstruction but can possibly aggravate the inflammatory process. Therefore, it is our opinion that myringotomy plus local treatment may be preferable to insertion of a ventilatory tube in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma who have otitis media with effusion.