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June 1991

Direct Visualization of the Middle Ear

Author Affiliations

Oakland, Calif

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):591. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180021004

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At the Western Section meeting of the Triologic Society held in Santa Barbara, Calif, during January 1991, successful direct visualization of the middle ear, accomplished by cannulation of the eustachian tube with a small-caliber fiberoptic scope, was reported. Drs Martin Hopp and Steven Burres of Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, Calif, described the procedure as performed on two patients and presented a video of the procedure. The technique involved anesthetizing the nasopharynx, placing a eustachian ventilator probe to guide the scope, and intubating the eustachian tube and middle ear. Both 0.5- and 0.8-mm-diameter scopes were successfully passed, and the anterior tympanum was visualized. Although the scope is difficult to manipulate, the authors felt an excellent view of the middle ear mucosa is obtained. In the future, with further instrumentation development, the incus and stapes could be visualized.

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