Narrow band imaging endoscopy improves visualization of vessels of the perforated tympanic membrane
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Because successful healing of a tympanic membrane perforation (TMP) depends upon the maintenance of blood supply to the injured area, we assessed the usefulness of narrow band imaging (NBI) video endoscopy to evaluate its vascularization. To our knowledge, the use of NBI to assess tympanic membrane (TM) vascular patterns has never been attempted.
Prospective observational study. NBI and cold white light (CWL) flexible videoendoscopy was used to explore perforated TMs of 100 patients. Main outcome measures were visualization of vessels among abnormal TM findings: monomeric areas (MA) (n = 6), myringosclerosis plaques (MP) (n = 65) and perforation edges (n = 100). They were graded by a vascular otoendoscopic score (VOS) comparing both types of lights (Wilcoxon test). Location and vascularization patterns were analyzed (Fisher’s test).
NBI was better to observe vascularization of 32% of perforation edges and 75.4% of MP (p < 0.001). NBI displayed higher (better) VOS when evaluating TMP edges (1.05 vs. 0.73) and MP (1.56 vs. 0.81, p < 0.001). The majority of TMP edges showed a ring pattern (66%), followed by irregular (19%), avascular (12%) and radial patterns (3%). The avascular pattern was more frequent in posterior perforations (p = 0.003). The radial pattern was most frequently found in MP, especially at posterior quadrants (p = 0.048). MA presented an irregular pattern in 83.3% of TMs.
NBI videoendoscopy is a promising non-invasive technique, superior to CWL for visualizing vessels among TMP edges and MP, based on further study, could become a supplementary diagnostic tool in the workup of TMP and the decision-making surgical field.
KeywordsTympanic membrane Perforation Myringosclerosis Vascular pattern Narrow band imaging
We thank Javier Zamora, head of the Statistics Unit of our Hospital, for helping us with the statistical analysis.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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