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May 1971

Middle Ear Insufflation: Producing Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and EKG Changes

Author Affiliations

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
From the Neurophysiology Branch, Biodynamics and Bionics Division, 6570 Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (BBN), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Drs. Fischer and Goldstein) and Murphy Memorial Group, Cincinnati (Dr. Howard), Ohio. Dr. Fischer is now a Fellow in Cardiology at the Krannert Heart Institute, Indianapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;93(5):531-532. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770060777019

Air may enter the cranium during middle ear insufflation. This may occur with insufflation either via the eustachian tube or external auditory canal. The mechanism of air entry is through the tegmen tympani of the temporal bone. Central nervous system stimulation by this mechanism may lead to multiple electrocardiographic changes including complex arrythmias. Large amounts of air entering the cranium may enter the dural sinuses and pass to the right portion of the heart and lungs.

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