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Clinical Note
April 2000

Histopathologic Study of the Human Eustachian Tube and Its Surrounding Structures Following Irradiation for Carcinoma of the Oropharynx

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(4):543-546. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.4.543

Objective  To describe a histopathologic analysis of a human temporal bone demonstrating patulous changes of the eustachian tube (ET) and its surrounding structures following radiation therapy.

Design  Retrospective histopathologic case review and comparison with an age-matched control.

Setting  Elizabeth McCullough Knowles Otopathology Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Results  A widened patulous ET was verified by demonstrating fibrous tissue replacement of the surrounding supporting structures related to the ET. The ET lumen was patulous and wider than the control case. Ostmann fatty tissue, the levator veli palatini muscle, and submucosal glands around the ET cartilage were replaced by dense connective tissue.

Conclusion  This is the first histopathologic report, to our knowledge, demonstrating the effects on the ET lumen and supporting structures following acute weight loss, possible tumor infiltration, and radiation changes for carcinoma of the oropharynx.