Systematic Review of Endoscopic Ear Surgery Outcomes for Pediatric Cholesteatoma

Otol Neurotol. 2021 Jan;42(1):108-115. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002876.


Objective: Endoscopic ear surgery (EES) has been increasingly adopted to enhance visualization during otologic surgery including pediatric cholesteatoma resection. The purpose of this study is to systematically review the current literature reporting rates of residual cholesteatoma to evaluate outcomes of EES in the pediatric population.

Data sources: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane.

Study selection: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis recommendations (PRISMA), we systematically reviewed studies that reported outcomes for cholesteatoma surgery in children using the endoscope. Studies were included if they described the use of the endoscope for middle ear surgery and measured outcomes following cholesteatoma resection in pediatric patients.

Data extraction: Identified articles were assessed for study design, sample size, inclusion of pediatric population, the presence of a comparison group, outcomes measured such as: residual disease rate, recurrent cholesteatoma, audiologic outcome, quality of life measures, and complications.

Data synthesis: Fourteen articles in the literature discussed cholesteatoma outcomes in children when the endoscope was employed. Residual disease rate ranged from 0 to 22% when endoscope was used for dissection compared with 11 to 55% when endoscope was used for inspection or not at all. A meta-analysis was conducted on 11 studies. There was a significant risk reduction in residual disease rates for endoscopic dissection when compared with microscope (RR = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.37-0.63, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Among the studies included in this review, EES was associated with lower rates of residual cholesteatoma compared with traditional microscopic techniques. Additional prospective studies are needed to further assess these findings.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cholesteatoma, Middle Ear* / surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome