Balloon dilatation eustachian tuboplasty: A clinical study

Balloon dilatation eustachian tuboplasty: A clinical study
Thorsten Ockermann, MD 1, Ulf Reineke, MD 1, Tahwinder Upile, FRCS 2, Jörg Ebmeyer, MD 1, Holger H. Sudhoff, MD, PhD 1 *
1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Bielefeld Academic Teaching Hospital, Bielefeld, Germany
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield, Middlesex and Barnet Hospital, Barnet, Herts, United Kingdom
email: Holger H. Sudhoff (holger.sudhoff@rub.de)
*Correspondence to Holger H. Sudhoff, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Bielefeld Academic Teaching Hospital, Affiliated with Bielefeld and Münster University, Teutoburger Str. 50, 33604 Bielefeld, Germany

The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
KEYWORDS
Eustachian tube dysfunction • computed tomography • balloon dilatation • tubomanometry • eustachian tube score • Level of Evidence: 2b
ABSTRACT

Objectives/Hypothesis:
To assess the feasibility of balloon dilatation eustachian tuboplasty (BET) as an option for treatment of patients with eustachian tube (ET) dysfunction.

Study Design:
Ethics approved case controlled interventional study.

Methods:
Eight patients were identified with poor ET function using a ET score and were assigned to the study. The endoscopic procedure involved the dilatation of the cartilaginous and bony portion of 13 ETs with a balloon catheter. Pre- and postinterventional computed tomography was performed. All patients were reassessed 1, 2, and 8 weeks after BET.

Results:
BET was technically easy to perform. No damage to essential structures, particularly the carotid canal, was found in the human study. Patients revealed a significant improvement of the ET score comparing pre- and the 2-month post-treatment results. Improvement was found to be time dependent.

Conclusions:
This newly introduced method of BET was found to be a feasible and safe procedure to inflate the ET. It significantly helped to improve ET function in our study group. However, larger long-term studies are necessary to fully evaluate the clinical value of BET. Laryngoscope, 2010