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Patulous Eustachian Tube Workup

  • Author: Alpen A Patel, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
 
Updated: Apr 03, 2015
 

Imaging Studies

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  • CT scanning in an axial plane has been used to show the presence of a patulous eustachian tube.
  • CT scanning may be useful in making the diagnosis in some patients.
  • Radiology only assists in the diagnosis of anatomic patency.
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Other Tests

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  • Tympanometry may detect movements of the tympanic membrane with nasal respiration, especially with the patient in an erect position.[2]
  • Distorted sounds of nasal respiration and speech may be heard with a microphone placed in the external meatus.
  • With sonotubometry, a test sound is introduced into the nasal vestibule and a microphone is fitted into the external auditory meatus. With a patulous tube, sound pressure level in the external canal is at a maximum; because the tube does not close, no sudden drop in transmitted sound occurs.
  • Observe a regular change in middle ear pressure when increasing or decreasing the ambient pressure during the measurement of impedance in a pressure chamber. Usual variations in pressure with opening and closing of the tube are not seen because the tube remains open all of the time.
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Diagnostic Procedures

See the list below:

  • In some patients with patulous tube, direct nasopharyngoscopy may show the continuous presence of a triangular opening of the eustachian tube orifice.
  • Transnasal endoscopic (video analysis) exam has been used to study the nasopharyngeal opening of the eustachian tube during rest, swallowing, and yawning.
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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Alpen A Patel, MD, FACS Lead Physician for Hospital Utilization, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group; Staff Physician, Department of Otolaryngology, Towson Medical Center

Alpen A Patel, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Surgeons, Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Samuel C Levine, MD Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School

Samuel C Levine, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Otological Society, Minnesota Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Gerard J Gianoli, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Pediatrics, Tulane University School of Medicine; President, The Ear and Balance Institute; Board of Directors, Ponchartrain Surgery Center

Gerard J Gianoli, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Otological Society, Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons, Triological Society, American Neurotology Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Surgeons

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Vesticon<br/>Received none from Vesticon, Inc. for board membership.

Chief Editor

Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA Professor of Otolaryngology, Dentistry, and Engineering, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Head and Neck Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cerescan;RxRevu;SymbiaAllergySolutions<br/>Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Symbia<br/>Received from Allergy Solutions, Inc for board membership; Received honoraria from RxRevu for chief medical editor; Received salary from Medvoy for founder and president; Received consulting fee from Corvectra for senior medical advisor; Received ownership interest from Cerescan for consulting; Received consulting fee from Essiahealth for advisor; Received consulting fee from Carespan for advisor; Received consulting fee from Covidien for consulting.

References
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