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Unlearning the ABCs of Tympanometry.

Authors
  • McCoul, Edward D1
  • 1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Otolaryngology
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2021
Volume
165
Issue
4
Pages
491–492
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0194599821995828
PMID: 33687296
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Interpretation of tympanometry commonly relies on the historical convention of classifying findings according to large and arbitrary threshold shifts of tympanometric peak pressure (TPP). This convention had value for prior generations of otolaryngologists in diagnosing severe, chronic middle ear disease requiring surgical intervention but may not be well suited for the present-day evaluation of less severe disease. The existing definition of a type C curve (less than -100 daPa) is likely insensitive to detect subtle abnormalities, including some presentations of obstructive eustachian tube dysfunction. The accuracy of clinical diagnosis may be improved by reporting the absolute values of TPP and moving beyond classification according to arbitrary thresholds.

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