Tympanometric findings in young children during upper respiratory tract infections with and without acute otitis media

Krystal Revai, Janak A. Patel, James J. Grady, Tasnee Chonmaitree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Upper respiratory tract infections (URI) likely lead to acute otitis media (AOM) by causing Eustachian tube dysfunction which creates negative middle ear pressure. Children younger than 2 years of age are at highest risk for AOM compared with older children and adults. There has been no published study comparing the middle ear status during URI in infants and young children by age group. METHODS: We analyzed data from a prospective, longitudinal study of virus-induced AOM. Healthy children 6-35 months of age were enrolled in a study designed to capture all AOM after URI during a 1-year follow-up period. Tympanometry was used to address the middle ear status; tympanometric findings during the first week of URI were compared among different age groups. Tympanograms were classified into type A (normal), type B (middle ear effusion), and type C (negative middle ear pressure). RESULTS: Children 6-11 months of age with URI experienced abnormal tympanograms more frequently than older children (P < 0.001). The peak day for an abnormal tympanogram was day 2 of the URI. Abnormal tympanogram tended to be type B in children age 6-23 months and type C in children age 24-47 months (P < 0.001). One-third of children older than 24 months of age had type C tympanogram during the first week of URI. CONCLUSIONS: Eustachian tube dysfunction and middle ear abnormality during URI are more severe in children younger than 2 years of age, compared with older children. These findings could help explain the higher incidence of AOM after URI in younger children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-295
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Middle ear pressure
  • Otitis media
  • Upper respiratory tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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