Can Fat-plug Myringoplasty Be a Good Alternative to Formal Myringoplasty? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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This study reviewed available literature to evaluate the success rate of fat myringoplasty compared with methods using other graft materials and suggests proper indications for this procedure.

Data Sources:

Studies reporting the success rate of fat myringoplasty were systematically reviewed by searching the MEDLINE, PubMed, and Embase databases for studies published from database inception to 2017.

Study Selection:

The following terms were used for the literature search: (“Fat” OR “Adipose”) and (“Myringoplasty” OR “Tympanoplasty”).

Data Extraction:

Eight case series reported the data of perforation size and audiologic results. The success rate varied according to the perforation size with a cutoff value of 3 to 5 mm in length or 30% of the total tympanic membrane area. The success rate in anterior perforation was lower than that in other sites, ranging from 76.7 and 85.2% to 84.5 and 91.7%, respectively. The meta-analysis was performed on 10 articles. The overall success rate in fat myringoplasty and paper patch technique was not significantly different, while the success rate of fat myringoplasty was lower than that for the conventional myringoplasty technique using fascia or perichondrium (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.49–0.80). Hyaluronic acid showed a significantly higher success rate than fat myringoplasty (90.1% versus 69.9%) (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.09–0.46).


The success rate of fat myringoplasty may be associated with the perforation site and size. The success rate of fat myringoplasty was equivalent to that of the paper patch but inferior to a conventional method using perichondrium or fascia.

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