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Promising results after balloon dilatation of the Eustachian tube for obstructive dysfunction

Jens H. Wanscher & Viggo Svane-Knudsen FROM: ENT Department, Odense University Hospital


As the first ear, nose and throat department in Denmark, we introduced balloon dilation of the Eustachian tube as a treatment of obstructive dysfunction in the summer of 2012. We present our preliminary experiences with this new treatment in adults.


Preoperatively, several different tests were performed including otomicroscopy, audiometry, tympanometry and Toynbee’s test. The patients were classified as Class 1 (if they could make a pressure equalisation of the middle ear by a normal Valsalva’s test), Class 2 (if they needed an extended Valsalva’s test), Class 3 (if only a test with the Otovent could make air flow to the middle ear), and Class 4 (if no passage of the Eustachian tube could be achieved). Furthermore, the patients filled out questionnaires using a visual analogue scale (VAS).


A total of 50 treatments were performed in 34 patients (16 patients had bilateral problems). Four patients (six Eustachian tubes) had intermittent problems, while 30 patients had
chronic dysfunction. A significant effect of the treatment was documented when measuring both audiometry, tympanometry, Toynbee’s test, classification of Eustachian tube dysfunction and VAS questionnaires. Some patients (e.g. patients with atelectatic ear drums) were not helped by the treatment. Among the first 40 treatments, 10% were observed to have acute otitis media post-operatively.


The majority of the patients experienced a positive effect of the treatment. Our results are comparable to those of other similar studies. We regard this new treatment as very promising, but look forward to more research.


Not relevant.


Not relevant.

CORRESPONDENCE: Jens H. Wanscher. E-mail:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: none. Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

REFERENCE: Dan Med J 2014;61(4) A4818

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