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December 1976

Mucociliary Function of the Eustachian Tube

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(12):760. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780170078015

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To the Editor.—Dr Elliott Blumberg first reported using saccharin placed into the conjunctiva as a means of measuring patency of the nasal lacrimal duct. Following Andersen's description of using saccharin to test nasal cilia, several reports showing usefulness of this test have appeared. As was anticipated, patients with chronic sinusitis, atrophic rhinitis, or chlorine gas toxic reactions all had slow nasal mucociliary flow. What was not anticipated was the finding that serous otitis media and Eustachian tube malfunction appeared on the concave side of the deviated septum, where mucociliary flow was slowest. Another finding was that slow nasal mucociliary flow correlated well with serous otitis and Eustachian tube dysfunction. Restoration of nasal mucociliary flow and use of the saccharin test as a guide to therapy proved to be advantageous in treating middle ear blockage.

Elbrønd and Larsen's study1 of Eustachian tube function, which was carried out by placing

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