[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1994

A Clinical Profile of Otitis Media Without an Intact Tympanic Membrane

Author Affiliations

From the Otitis Media Research Center (Drs Le, Margolis, Daly, and Giebink; Ms Hunter; and Mr Lindgren) and the Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health (Dr Le and Mr Lindgren), and the Departments of Otolaryngology (Ms Hunter and Drs Margolis, Daly, and Giebink) and Pediatrics (Dr Giebink), School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(5):513-516. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880290025005

An otitis media with effusion algorithm developed by Paradise et al has become the basis for many studies of otitis media. However, it has been shown to be too ambitious (low specificity) and too optimistic (absence of fluid does not necessarily mean normal ears). We developed a four-point profile to characterize the condition of the middle ear, but it cannot be used when the eardrum is perforated (with a functioning tube or chronic perforation). We propose a three-point profile for use without an intact tympanic membrane, and we report the validation of the profile by findings at myringotomy and by the preoperative profile. This postoperative profile and the previously described profile for ears with an intact tympanic membrane should increase the accuracy of middle ear assessment in following the course of otitis media over time.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:513-516)