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Otitis media with effusion (OME) is the most common ear disease in childhood. The hearing loss associated with OME impacts on children's language development and behavior. Eustachian tube insufflation are among possible treatments for OME, but data regarding their effectiveness are scarce. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the effect of inhalatory thermal therapy and Eustachian tube insufflation in a consecutive cohort of pediatric patients with OME. Seventy-four pediatric patients referred for OME to the thermal medical center "La Contea" (Battaglia Terme, Padova, Italy) were considered. Data from tympanometry and pure tone audiometry performed immediately before (T0), at the end of treatment (T1) and at a follow-up control (T2) were analyzed. Data from 148 ears were available. The pressure values of tympanometry significantly improved from T0 to T1 (p = 0.0001), and further improvement was recorded at T2, when 60.8% of patients had normal tympanograms. A significant gain of the air-conduction threshold in the T0-T2 interval was observed (p = 0.0001). At otoscopy, a significant reduction of tympanic membranes with fluid or air-fluid levels presence (p < 0.00001) and a significant increase of normal tympanic membranes (p = 0.0001) were found. Eustachian tube insufflation represented a well-tolerated and effective treatment in children with OME. Further investigations should deepen these results in randomized, double-blind settings, possibly with long-term follow-up periods. A quality-of-life and cost-effectiveness evaluation of this treatment approach for pediatric OME could be helpful for public health decision-making. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Salvatore Fermo, Andrea Frosolini, Daniela Parrino, Antonio Chiappetta, Gino Marioni, Cosimo de Filippis. Eustachian tube insufflation with thermal water: Effectiveness in the treatment of pediatric otitis media with effusion. American journal of otolaryngology. 2022 Jul-Aug;43(4):103504

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PMID: 35605520

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