Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Schulte Douglas L.; Driscoll, Colin L. W.; McDonald, Thomas J.; Facer, George W.; Beatty, Charles W.
The American Journal of Otology: March 1998
Middle ear and mastoid disease: PDF Only


To evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, safety, and results in reconstruction of the tympanic membrane using irradiated rib cartilage.

Study Design:

Retrospective chart review.


A tertiary referral center.


All patients who had ≥6 months follow-up who underwent tympanoplasty or tympanomastoidectomy using irradiated rib cartilage graft at our institution from January 1, 1993 to December 31, 1996.


Tympanoplasty or tympanomastoidectomy using homologous irradiated rib cartilage as graft material.

Main Outcome Measures:

Postoperative speech reception thresholds, speech discrimination scores, and air-bone gap were compared with preoperative levels. Complications directly related to irradiated rib cartilage tympanoplasty were sought.


Speech reception threshold did not significantly change. Speech discrimination scores were stable or improved in all patients. Postoperative air-bone gap was ≤0 dB in 43.2% of patients and ≤20 dB in 70.3% of patients. There was a 16% complication rate regarding tympanoplasty in general. No complications unique to irradiated rib cartilage occurred.


Irradiated rib cartilage is an alternative tympanoplasty material that may save operating time, spares patients an added incision, provides results similar to other grafting material, and is safe.

© 1998, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.