Patulous Eustachian Tube Patients With Respiratory Fluctuation of Tympanic Membrane in Both Sitting and Supine Positions: A Sign of Severity of Disease?

Yusuke Kusano, Yoshinobu Kawamura, Ryoukichi Ikeda, Hidetoshi Oshima, Toshiaki Kikuchi, Tetsuaki Kawase, Yukio Katori, Toshimitsu Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim is to report four cases of patulous Eustachian tube (PET) patients with respiratory fluctuation of the tympanic membrane (TM) even in the supine position, and to examine the frequency and characteristics of such patients. PATIENTS: There were 195 ears (99 right ears and 96 left ears) from 146 cases (56 male and 90 female subjects aged 8-88, average 48.0 ± 18.9 yrs) diagnosed with definite PET by diagnostic criteria proposed by Japan Otologic Society (JOS) between January 2017 and December 2019 at Sen-En Rifu Hospital. Patients who presented with respiratory fluctuation of the TM in both the sitting and supine positions were examined. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical patient records, the severity of subjective symptoms (PET handicap inventory-10 [PHI-10]), objective ET function tests (tubo-tympano-aerodynamic graphy [TTAG] and sonotubometry), and sitting three-dimensional computed tomography (3-D CT) were analyzed. RESULTS: Six ears (3.1%) of four cases (2.7%) exhibited respiratory fluctuation of the TM, even in the supine position. In these six ears (four cases), the PHI-10 score ranged from 16 to 36 with three ears exhibiting PHI-10 score equal to or exceeding 26 (in the category of severe handicap). Sitting CT indicated the findings of completely open ET in only two ears. All ears but one were managed by conservative treatment. CONCLUSION: Respiratory fluctuation of the TM in both the sitting and supine positions was observed in 2.7% of the definite PET patients. Surprisingly, such findings can be an indication of neither the subjective nor objective severity of the disease. Therefore, even for PET patients with such findings, surgery should not be immediately proposed, but rather, conservative management should be undertaken first.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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