JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The middle ear in cleft palate children pre and post palatal closure

R S Dhillon
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 1988, 81 (12): 710-3
3065499
A multicentre prospective trial was commenced in July 1984 to establish the incidence of otitis media with effusion (OME) in children born with a cleft of the palate. Additionally, the data recorded would allow an assessment of the effect of palatal closure on middle ear function. Prior to palatal closure, 97% of ears in a group of 50 patients had otitis media with effusion (OME). The insertion of a long-term ventilation tube provided a means of aeration of one ear with the non-ventilated ear acting as a control. Eighty percent of control ears had persistent OME during a 24-month follow-up period post palatal repair. It would seem that OME is universally present in children with a cleft palate prior to 4 months of age and this incidence is only marginally diminished by palatal surgery. The liaison between plastic surgical and ENT units should be even closer than before in order to manage these patients satisfactorily.

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