The Use of Tympanometry and Pneumatic Otoscopy for Predicting Middle Ear Disease Purpose: Otitis media is the most common condition diagnosed by pediatricians and is estimated to affect approximately 70% of the pediatric population. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of otoscopy and multifrequency tympanometry (MFT) for diagnosis of otitis media in children. Method: Twenty-one children, age 1 ... Clinical Focus: Grand Rounds
Clinical Focus: Grand Rounds  |   June 01, 2005
The Use of Tympanometry and Pneumatic Otoscopy for Predicting Middle Ear Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula K. Harris
    Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, Herrin, IL
  • Kathleen M. Hutchinson
    2 Bachelor Hall, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056
  • Joseph Moravec
    Joseph J. Moravec, Inc., Facial Surgery Center, Cincinnati, OH
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: hutchik@muohio.edu
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Clinical Focus / Grand Rounds
Clinical Focus: Grand Rounds   |   June 01, 2005
The Use of Tympanometry and Pneumatic Otoscopy for Predicting Middle Ear Disease
American Journal of Audiology, June 2005, Vol. 14, 3-13. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/002)
History: Received August 15, 2004 , Revised January 22, 2005 , Accepted April 28, 2005
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2005, Vol. 14, 3-13. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/002)
History: Received August 15, 2004; Revised January 22, 2005; Accepted April 28, 2005

Purpose: Otitis media is the most common condition diagnosed by pediatricians and is estimated to affect approximately 70% of the pediatric population. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of otoscopy and multifrequency tympanometry (MFT) for diagnosis of otitis media in children.

Method: Twenty-one children, age 1 to 10 years, who were seeking medical treatment for suspected middle ear disease were selected to participate. Data were collected prior to myringotomy to determine the sensitivity and specificity rates of the following otologic and audiologic measures: (a) pneumatic otoscopy, (b) conventional tympanometry, and (c) MFT. For this study, the "gold standard," myringotomy, was used along with pneumatic otoscopy to determine the effectiveness, sensitivity, and specificity of conventional 226-Hz tympanometry, 678-Hz tympanometry, and 1000-Hz tympanometry to predict middle ear disease.

Results: The diagnoses provided with pneumatic otoscopy and tympanometry were both similar, agreeing in diagnosis 80%–100% of the time. The diagnoses from 678-Hz and 1000-Hz tympanometry were nearly equal and proved to detect abnormality at a higher rate.

Conclusions: MFT is recommended on a routine basis with children having a history of otitis media, or else abnormal or notched 226-Hz tympanograms. Further research with a larger sample size will illuminate the possible predictive potential of MFT in otitis media.

Acknowledgments
Thanks to Bryan R. Bell and Jeremy L. Craft for statistics consultation.
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