Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is a frequent problem in otology clinics that can lead to various otological manifestations and complications, such as serous otitis media, tympanic membrane (TM) retraction, adhesive otitis, and atelectasis of the middle ear.
Microwave ablation is a unique application of dielectric heating, in which the tissue is the dielectric material. Microwave ablation has been used to treat epistaxis and remove nasal benign lesions with minimal side effects in otolaryngology practice in recent years.
However, in a recent research, investigators have found out that microwave ablation (MWA) eustachian tuboplasty is a feasible alternative to conventional tuboplasty, and can improve subjective and objective outcomes in patients with eustachian tube dysfunction for up to 30 months following treatment.
The study is published in the Journal of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery.
Researchers from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yiwu Central Hospital, China conducted a prospective study of 20 patients with eustachian tube dysfunction who underwent microwave ablation eustachian tuboplasty.
This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of microwave ablation (MWA) eustachian tuboplasty for the treatment of patients with retracted tympanic membrane (TM) due to eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD).
Outcomes included the ability to perform a Valsalva maneuver, audiometry results, tympanometry results, eustachian tube dysfunction Questionnaire (ETDQ-7) score, and tympanic membrane status.
Eighteen patients (18 ears) were included in this study. There were statistically and clinically significant improvements in the mean ETDQ-7 score at 6 months postoperatively and at 30 months postoperatively.
Type A tympanogram was obtained in 27.8% of patients (5/18) at 6 months postoperatively, and in 77.7% at 30 months postoperatively. A Valsalva maneuver was possible in 72.2% of patients at 6 months postoperatively and in 88.9% of patients at 30 months postoperatively.
In addition, the ears of 13 patients (72.2%) showed both normal tympanograms and TM at 30 months postoperatively. Interestingly, 38.5% of patients (5/13) exhibited complete sclerosis of the pars tensa. None of the patients experienced severe MWA-related complications during follow-up.
Therefore, the authors concluded that MWA eustachian tuboplasty is a feasible alternative to conventional tuboplasty, and can improve subjective and objective outcomes in patients with ETD for up to 30 months following treatment. Further the extent of sclerotic plaque increased over time, whereas the extents of atrophy and tensa retraction decreased following tuboplasty in most patients. Hence, microwave ablation eustachian tuboplasty is a feasible alternative to conventional tuboplasty.