Differential Penetration of Ototopicals and Water through Tympanostomy Tubes

Authors

  • Lee P. Smith MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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  • Jennifer L. Smullen MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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  • Ramzi T. Younis MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    • Dr. Ramzi Younis, Associate Professor, Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology, University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat, 900 NW 17th Street #529, Miami, FL 33136, U.S.A.
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  • Presented at the Southern Section Meeting of the Triological Society, Winner 3rd Place Poster Presentation, January 13–15, 2004, Miami, FL.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the penetration of ototopicals and water through tympanostomy tubes (TT) using a physical model.

Study Design: An in vitro model was created to measure the ability of various solutions to penetrate a variety of TT.

Methods: A TT was placed through a perforation (myringotomy) in a silastic sheet (tympanic membrane) fixed between the ends of two 1 mL syringes. Measurements were obtained of the maximum height various liquids (tap water, 2% soapy water, ocean water, ofloxacin otic, corticosporin otic, and ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone otic) achieved before penetrating different TTs (1.0 mm or 1.27 mm Paparella silicone, 1.14 mm or 1.27 mm Reuter Bobbin titanium, 1.27 mm Collar Button fluoroplastic or 1.14 mm T-type silicone).

Results: Two percent soapy water was significantly more permeable than water and ocean water in all tubes studied. Ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone otic was significantly more permeable than tap water, ocean water, and ofloxacin otic in only the Collar Button fluoroplastic TT. Our results suggest that titanium TTs are more permeable than other TT. Otherwise, ototopicals, tap water, and ocean water behaved similarly across all TT studied.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that ototopicals, tap water, and ocean water behave similarly with regard to TT penetration. Ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone otic may have better penetration than other ototopicals. Titanium TT may be easier to penetrate than other TT.

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