Balloon Dilation for Obstructive Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in Children.
Determine the safety and efficacy of balloon dilation of the Eustachian tube (ET) in pediatric patients.Retrospective matched cohort study.Tertiary medical center.Pediatric patients (<18 yr) with persistent (>1.5 yr) chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) with previous tympanostomy tube (TT) insertion versus matched controls.Balloon dilation of the cartilaginous ET (BDET) was performed using concomitant myringotomy with/without tube placement and adjunctive procedures if indicated versus controls (TT).Otitis media with effusion (OME)/retraction with need for additional tube, tympanogram, audiogram, otomicroscopy, ET mucosal inflammation/opening score, and Valsalva maneuver.Forty six ETs (26 patients), ages 7 to 17 years (mean 12.5) underwent BDET. Mean follow-up was 2.3 years (standard deviation [SD], 1.1; range, 6 mo-5 yr). Significant improvements were observed for all measures. Tympanic membranes were healthy in 9% preoperatively, 38% at 6 months, 55% at 12 months, and 93% at 36 months postoperatively. Tympanograms improved to type A in 50% at 6 months, 59% at 12 months, and 85% at 36 months. Mean scores of mucosal inflammation declined from 3.2 (±0.6) preoperatively to 2.5 (±0.7) at 6 months and 1.7 (±0.6) at 36 months postoperatively. BDET had lower risk of failure versus TT insertion (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.10, 0.70; p = 0.007). Probability of being failure free at 2 years was 87% (95% CI: 70, 94%) after BDET and 56% (95% CI: 40, 70%) after TT insertions.BDET is a safe and possibly effective procedure in selected pediatric patients with chronic ETD.