Symptom Localization May Differentiate Subtypes of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1002/lary.30436 Web of Science: 000866087000001

Cited authors

  • Parsel SM, Moxley EM, Navarro AI, Kattar N, Barton BM, McCoul ED


  • Objective To evaluate the predictive ability of symptom self-localization to distinguish obstructive eustachian tube dysfunction from non-obstructive salpingitis. Methods Adult (age >= 18 years) patients with a primary complaint of aural discomfort who underwent diagnostic nasal endoscopy and tympanometry at a tertiary academic center were enrolled. Symptoms were self-localized by using a single finger on the affected side. All patients completed the 7-item Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire (ETDQ-7) and underwent scoring of eustachian tube inflammation using the Endoscopic Evaluation of the Eustachian Tube (3ET) system. Results Seventy-three patients were included in the study. Symptoms were localized to the external auditory canal (EAC) in 28 (38.4%), to the infratemporal fossa (ITF) below the lobule in 37 (50.7%), and to the preauricular region in 8 (11.0%). Demographics and medical history were similar between groups. The EAC group had significantly more negative tympanometric peak pressure (TPP) (median, -92.0 daPa; IQR, 95.5) and higher 3ET scores. In contrast, the ITF group had normal TPP (median, -2.0 daPa; IQR, 7.0) and higher 3ET scores. The preauricular group was more likely to have temporomandibular joint or pterygoid muscle pain. ETDQ-7 scores did not differ significantly between groups. Conclusion Symptom localization is associated with specific objective findings in the evaluation of aural discomfort. Patients with pain localizing to the ITF are more likely to have findings of eustachian tube salpingitis without obstruction whereas patients with symptoms deep in the EAC are more likely to have findings consistent with obstructive eustachian tube dysfunction. Level of Evidence 3 Laryngoscope, 2022

Publication date

  • 2022

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0023-852X

Number of pages

  • 6