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Influence of Chronic Middle Ear Diseases on Gustatory Function: An Electrogustometric Study

Sano, Masaki; Ito, Ken; Suzukawa, Keigo; Kaga, Kimitaka; Yamasoba, Tatsuya

doi: 10.1097/01.mao.0000244359.49756.a3
Middle Ear and Mastoid Disease

Objective: We aimed to quantitatively determine whether middle ear inflammation associated with unilateral chronic otitis media (COM), cholesteatoma, or otosclerosis affects gustatory function.

Study Design: Prospective study.

Setting: University Hospital, Department of Otolaryngology.

Patients: Forty-two patients had unilateral COM (22 men, 20 women; mean age, 54.2 yr), 57 had unilateral cholesteatoma (35 men, 22 women; mean age, 42.1 yr), and 19 had unilateral otosclerosis (10 men, 9 women; mean age, 49.3 yr).

Main Outcome Measures: Patients underwent taste testing using electrogustometry (EGM) and sensation thresholds were compared in the affected and unaffected ears among groups and between affected and unaffected ears in each group.

Results: Patients with COM and cholesteatoma exhibited an increase in taste threshold in the affected ears compared to the unaffected ears (p < 0.05), whereas otosclerosis patients did not. The extent of the increase of the sensation thresholds in the affected ears was very similar between patients with COM and those with cholesteatoma (p = 0.548).

Conclusion: Our EGM study showed that cholesteatoma and chronic middle ear inflammation affected gustatory function to a similar degree.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Masaki Sano, M.D., Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan; E-mail: neurootolsano@ybb.ne.jp

© 2007 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.