In this study of diagnostic ultrasound as an aid in the diagnosis of middle ear disease a hand-held transducer with an external diameter of 3 mm was placed in the external ear of cadavers, volunteers, and patients. The resultant A-scan demonstrated echoes from the tympanic membrane when the middle ear was devoid of fluid. When fluid was present in cadaver and patient ears, echoes were returned from both the tympanic membrane and the middle ear. Additional echoes were returned when the fluid-filled middle ear also contained air bubbles. Retraction of the drum can also be quantitatively evaluated with ultrasound. It is hoped that this technique will be employed for the detection of fluid in the middle ear when clinical signs are equivocal or when tympanosclerosis prevents visualization of the events in the middle ear.
Abramson DH, Abramson AL, Coleman DJ. Ultrasonics in Otolaryngology: An Aid in the Diagnosis of Middle Ear Fluid. Arch Otolaryngol. 1972;96(2):146–150. doi:10.1001/archotol.1972.00770090220010
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