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September 1997

A 10-Year Longitudinal Study of Tubal Function in Patients With Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma After Irradiation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University, Taipei.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(9):945-948. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900090059008

Objective:  To follow up the chronological change of tubal function in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma for 10 years after irradiation.

Design:  Patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma were subjected to eustachian tube function tests before irradiation and 6 months, 5 years, and 10 years after irradiation.

Setting:  University hospital.

Patients:  Ten patients (20 ears), 7 men and 3 women.

Results:  Twelve (60%) of the ears had patulous tubes 10 years after irradiation, which might result from atrophy of peritubal tissues. The occurrence of a patulous tube was independent of the radiation dosage, but it was related to the interval since irradiation.

Conclusions:  Development of a patulous tube is associated with correction of organic obstruction of the eustachian tube. Resolution of the inflammatory reaction plays the most important role in recovery of function of the tube. Therefore, the prevalence of middle ear complications is low 10 years after irradiation.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:945-948