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September 1987

A Clinical Evaluation of Gold-Plated Tubes for Middle-Ear Ventilation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Naval Hospitals, Portsmouth, Va (Dr Tami), Oakland, Calif (Dr Kennedy), and San Diego (Dr Harley).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(9):979-980. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860090077023

• Gold-plated tympanostomy tubes have been recently marketed as possessing qualities making them ideal for middle-ear ventilation. The performance of these tubes was compared with that of similarly designed Teflon tubes in a controlled, prospective study. Twenty-eight children underwent bilateral myringotomy and tube placement. One ear was randomly chosen for intubation with a gold-plated tube, and a Teflon tube was inserted into the other ear. Patients were examined monthly for 12 months and evaluated for otorrhea, tube occlusion, and early tube extrusion. Although the incidence of otorrhea and tube occlusion were higher for the gold-plated tube, these differences were not statistically significant. The gold-plated tube had a significantly higher rate of early extrusion than the Teflon tube. Based on these findings, there appears to be no advantage to using gold-plated tubes for middle-ear ventilation.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1987;113:979-980)

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