To study the effectiveness of Type 1 tympanoplasty for chronic tympanic membrane perforations in the pediatric age group and to investigate factors influencing its success.
Searches were conducted of the MEDLINE database and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews using terms focused around tympanoplasty and children. Searches were performed on June 23, 2014 and limited to English language entries since January 1, 1997.
Studies reporting tympanoplasty closure rates in children 18 years and younger, with a minimum follow-up of 6 months, were included. Studies focusing on more advanced forms of tympanoplasty and revision surgery were excluded.
Five hundred sixty-four articles were screened identifying 2,609 cases from 45 eligible studies. Data were collected by consensus of the first two authors with the third author arbitrating disparities of opinion. Success was taken as the closure rate at 12 months where possible.
Forest plots with Mantel-Haenszel analyses were used to compare closure rates with respect to perforation size, adenoidectomy, status of contralateral ear, Eustachian tube function, active infection, and graft position. Linear regression and Fisher’s exact were used to analyze closure rate with respect to age.
The mean weighted closure rate for pediatric tympanoplasty was 83.4%. Subgroup analysis found age not to be a significant factor affecting the closure rate. Tympanoplasties performed on larger perforations or in children with abnormal contralateral ear findings were more likely to fail. Surgery may be best delayed until contralateral otitis media with effusion has settled.