, Volume 272, Issue 1, pp 15-21
Date: 20 Mar 2014

Association between atopy, mastoid pneumatization and tympanometric findings

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to reveal whether the presence of atopy plays any unfavorable role in the development of a healthy middle ear as evaluated by tympanometry or in the degree of mastoid pneumatization as measured by mastoid volume. 33 atopic patients with positive skin prick test results (atopic group) and 30 healthy subjects (control group) were included in this study. Tympanometric tests were performed in all participants, and the results were classified as type A to C. Mastoid cell volumes were measured by three-dimensional temporal computed tomography. Both the right and left mastoid volumes were significantly lower in the atopic group than in the control group. Tympanogram types among all participants showed that the number of individuals with abnormal tympanograms was significantly higher in the atopic group than in the control group. Moreover, the presence of atopy was found to be associated with an almost 4.5-fold increased risk of having an abnormal tympanogram. Individuals with abnormal tympanograms (type BB or CC) demonstrated significantly lower right and left mastoid volumes than did individuals with normal type A tympanograms. Atopic individuals demonstrated significantly lower right and left mastoid volumes than did subjects in the control group. This study suggests a direct association between atopy and mastoid cell volumes. It was found that the mastoid cell systems of atopic individuals are less pneumatized, and tympanometric measurements are worse in atopic subjects. Therefore, the authors suggest that when a medical or surgical treatment is planned for ear disease in atopic individuals, atopy is an important factor that should be taken into consideration.