In Vivo Measurement of Middle Ear Pressure Changes during Balloon Eustachian Tuboplasty

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Background. Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty (BET) is known as a treatment for chronic obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction (OETD). The precise mechanism of action is not fully understood. Observations in sheep cadavers and human cadavers have shown specific middle ear pressure changes related to BET. Methods. In this prospective study using a microfibre optical pressure sensor, pressure changes during BET were for the first time monitored transtympanically in five normal human middle ears in vivo. Results. Middle ear pressure changes during 21 BETs consisted of five stages (insertion, inflation, deflation, withdrawal, and recovery). The highest pressure change occurred in most of the cases during the withdrawal of the balloon catheter. Withdrawal pressure yielded a mean middle ear pressure of 4.76 mmHg (61.89 daPa) with a maximum of 13.88 mmHg (179.55 daPa). Pressure amplitudes capable of causing barotrauma to ear structures were not detected. Internal carotid artery dehiscences were detected as causative of sinusidual pressure changes. Conclusion. The middle ear pressure changes detected in vivo during BET can be attributed to the balloon inflation. Further human studies with patients affected by OETD are necessary to gain more insight into the mechanism of action of BET to clarify a possible pressure related second mechanism of action of BET.




Sudhoff, H., Mittmann, P., & Todt, I. (2018). In Vivo Measurement of Middle Ear Pressure Changes during Balloon Eustachian Tuboplasty. BioMed Research International, 2018.

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