Objective: The association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is well known. When both exist in a single pediatric patient, one of the expected culprits is adenoid enlargement. We hypothesize, in contrast, that the negative pharyngeal pressure found in OSA may be transmitted to the middle ear as negative middle ear pressure (MEP), which subsequently results in pathology. The objective of this study was to determine whether the degree of OSA and MEP are associated while using MEP as a quantifiable measurement of ETD. Study design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary academic center (Jan 2000–Jan 2018). Subjects and methods: The relationship between apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and MEP was examined. A non-anatomic model was utilized to support causality. Results: Thirty-four pediatric patients and twenty-three adult patients were included in the analysis. REM AHI showed a moderate negative correlation with MEP in children (r = -0.265), and a weak positive correlation with MEP in adults (r = 0.171). Children with an AHI in the severe OSA category had a more negative mean MEP than those in the mild category (p = 0.36). Adults with an AHI in the severe OSA category had a more positive mean MEP than those in the mild category (p = 0.11). Conclusion: In children, increasing severity of OSA is associated with a negative MEP, suggesting that negative pressure associated with OSA may be transmitted to the middle ear. In adults, increasing severity of OSA is associated with a more positive MEP.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2021|
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Middle ear pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
ASJC Scopus subject areas