Assessment of eustachian tube function in tympanoplasty

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A clinically useful test for eustachian tube function (ETF) is still lacking. Here we plan to evaluate the mucociliary function of the ET by saccharin and methylene blue test, and compare the outcome of surgery with normal and abnormal ET functions.


Case series with planned data collection.


Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore (Manipal University), a tertiary care center in South India.


This study comprised 86 patients diagnosed with mucosal chronic otitis media in quiescent/inactive stage. All were subjected to a detailed clinical examination and investigations. Preoperative evaluation of ETF was compared with postoperative outcome of surgery, and the results were analyzed.


The saccharin test and methylene blue dye test had a good correlation in evaluating ETF. The mean value for saccharin perception time and the clearance time for methylene blue were 17.5 and 8.1 minutes, respectively. ETF was best in anterior, worst among posterior, and intermediate in subtotal perforations. Type 1 tympanoplasty was successful in 94 percent with normal ETF and in 68 percent with partial dysfunction.


The saccharin test is a simple, cost-effective, and valuable diagnostic tool to assess the mucociliary function of the ET. The outcome of middle ear surgery would be a success in normal ETF, whereas in partial dysfunction the outcome need not necessarily be a failure.

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