Middle Ear Surgery in Thuringia, Germany: A Population-Based Regional Study on Epidemiology and Outcome

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To evaluate population-based data on incidence and efficiency of middle ear surgery.

Study Design

Retrospective review.


All otolaryngology departments in one federal state in Germany.


All 1,037 middle ear surgeries performed in Thuringia in 2005.


Middle ear surgery.

Main Outcome Measure

Analysis of preoperative and postoperative audiometric results, preoperative diagnostics, and postoperative complications. Univariate statistical tests were used to analyze predictors for air-bone gap (ABG) improvement, complications, and need for resurgery. Population data were used to calculate incidences of middle ear diseases admitted for surgery and annual rates of middle ear surgeries.


ABG improved after surgery for chronic otitis media without and with cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, trauma cases, or complication after acute otitis media/externa (p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001; p = 0.005; p = 0.004; respectively). Middle ear surgery significantly improved bone conduction in cases of otosclerosis (p = 0.008), sudden deafness (p = 0.006), and acute otitis media/externa with complication (p = 0.004). There was a trend of more complication in patients older than 60 years (p = 0.055). Surgery was indicated for chronic otitis media without cholesteatoma in 17.4/100,000 persons, for cholesteatoma in 15.0/100,000, for otosclerosis in 5.7/100,000, for sudden deafness with suspicion of perilymph fistula in 1.5/100,000, and for trauma with affection of the lateral cranial base and hearing loss or otitis media with complication in 1.3/100,000 habitants, respectively. A cochlear implant was indicated in 1.0/100,000 habitants.


This population based analysis is showing that middle ear surgery is performed country-wide with good results and low risk on important scale in daily routine by ear surgeons.

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