Medium-term assessment of Eustachian tube function after balloon dilation

Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2018 Apr;135(2):105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2017.09.008. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


There is at present no consensus on the treatment of obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction. In case of failure of well-conducted drug and pressure therapy, some authors recommend balloon dilation; the present study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of Eustachian tube balloon dilation.

Materials and methods: A single-center retrospective study assessed clinical and tubomanometric results of Eustachian tube balloon dilation, complications and satisfaction in a consecutive series managed between June 2012 and February 2015. Indications were based on clinical and paraclinical signs of obstructive tube dysfunction despite well-conducted medical treatment.

Results: Forty-five procedures were performed in 38 patients. Improvement in clinical symptoms was assessed as 88%, 80% and 80% at respectively 2 months, 6 months, and>1 year. Improved function on tubomanometry was observed in 81% of cases. The procedure was well tolerated, with a minor complications rate of only 4%.

Conclusions: The present findings for efficacy, tolerance and safety were comparable to those in the literature, despite first-line failure in all patients. Eustachian tube function normalized in about one-third of cases. Despite these encouraging results, true efficacy remains to be confirmed in prospective studies with higher levels of evidence.

Keywords: Balloon dilation; Eustachian tube; Tube dysfunction; Tubomanometry.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Dilatation / instrumentation
  • Dilatation / methods
  • Ear Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Ear Diseases / therapy*
  • Eustachian Tube / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hearing Tests* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome