• Eustachian tube dysfunction, obstructive sleep apnea;
  • Level of Evidence: 2b



To investigate the prevalence of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) in infants with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Study Design:

Retrospective medical record review of infants (3–24 months old) diagnosed with OSA and ETD.


There were 94 infants diagnosed with OSA by polysomnography and ETD as determined by performance of myringotomy and ventilation tube placement (MT). The main outcome measures were demographic data, apnea-hypopnea index, dates and number of MTs, interventions for treatment of OSA, and medical comorbidities.


Of 295 infants diagnosed with OSA, 94 (31.9%) had concomitant ETD. A total of 135 MT procedures were performed, with 30 (31.9%) patients undergoing two or more procedures. The average age of first MT was 16.3 months for those undergoing MT only once, and 11.1 months for those undergoing at least two MT procedures. There was no difference in average age of first MT when analyzed by OSA severity (15.6 months, 14.2 months, and 14.6 months for mild, moderate, and severe OSA, respectively). The first MT procedure was performed before or concurrent with the first treatment for OSA in 75 (80%) patients. Of the 137 interventions for treatment of OSA, 10 (45.5%) nonsurgical and 75 (65.2%) surgical interventions did not require further MT procedures afterward.


The ETD prevalence of 32% in infants with OSA is increased compared to the general pediatric prevalence of 4% to 7%. Patients presenting for evaluation of OSA should also be evaluated for ETD. Surgical interventions for treatment of OSA led to decreased need for further MT procedures.