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A tympanometric comparison of tympanoplasty with cartilage palisades or fascia after surgery for tensa cholesteatoma in children



Objective: The aim of the present study is to compare the tympanometric and functional findings of cartilage palisade tympanoplasty with those of tympanoplasty with temporalis fascia grafting after one-stage surgery in children with tensa cholesteatoma. Study Design: In children aged 5 to 15 years (mean, 9.5 years) with tensa cholesteatoma, cartilage palisade tympanoplasty was performed in 32 ears and fascia tympanoplasty in 29 ears. Tympanometry was performed in 31 ears with cartilage palisade tympanoplasty (the palisade group) and 28 ears with fascia tympanoplasty (the fascia group) at follow-up a median of 48 months after surgical removal of the cholesteatoma (range, 3-75 months). Main Outcome Measures: Postoperative perforations, tympanometric parameters (tympanogram type, compliance, tympanometric width), and hearing. Results: All postoperative re-perforations occurred in the fascia group. However, there was no difference between the palisade group and the fascia group in terms of tympanometric parameters, nor between the two groups when dividing into tensa retraction and sinus cholesteatoma subgroups. When comparing the types of tympanoplasty, the type II group reconstructed with cartilage palisades contained a higher number of ears with a normal compliance (0.2-1.6 mL) but a higher number of ears with a tympanometric width of more than 150 mmH2O. Regarding the number of ears with normal tympanometries, there was no significant difference between the palisade and the fascia group. The late functional hearing results were better in ears reconstructed with cartilage palisades, with functional success in 71%, compared with 54% in the group with fascia grafting. This difference in functional results was particularly pronounced in ears with an abnormal tympanogram (68% vs. 29%). Conclusion: Compared to fascia grafting, the present study showed better late functional hearing results after drum reconstruction using cartilage palisades, despite comparable tympanometric findings. Cartilage palisade reconstruction seems to provide better functional results, especially in ears with a poor tubal function, which is the common situation after cholesteatoma surgery.