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December 1970

Eustachian Tubal Function: Changes in Anatomy and Function With Age and the Relationship of These Changes to Aural Pathology

Author Affiliations

From Westminster and Westminster Children's Hospitals, London.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1970;92(6):624-626. doi:10.1001/archotol.1970.04310060096017

The eustachian tube is the key to aural disease, the origin of which is very often due to tubal malfunction in childhood. Anatomical differences in the shape and position of the tubal cartilage, the relationship of the associated muscles, and the amount of glandular tissue lead to a less efficient mechanism in infancy and early childhood. Sections of the tube at various ages and measurement of eustachian function by direct air pressure recordings confirm that there is a critical age for tubal malfunction from birth to about 7 years. To prevent the development of aural disease in later life, our attention should be directed to this age group when the restoration of efficient tubal function by the use of grommets or other methods is of the greatest importance.

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