Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Otoscopy compared with tympanometry: An evalluation of the accuracy of simple otoscopy

FT Orji, NC Mgbor


Background: Although otoscopy has been shown to compare favourably with results of tympanometry, the actual diagnostic value of otoscopy for otitis media with effusion (OME) has not been evaluated in Nigeria. The study was aimed at evaluating the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of otoscopy in the diagnosis of OME as compared with tympanometry. Method: It was a prospective hospital-based, descriptive cross-sectional study in which the results of simple otoscopy were compared with results of the tympanometry of 82 ears of children aged between 6 months and 12 years, who presented to the Otolaryngology clinics of the UNTH Enugu with symptoms of obstructive adenoid enlargement. Results: Simple otoscopy produced 84.4% agreement with tympanometry in detecting OME. The agreement was better in older children than the younger ones (P <0.05). Simple otoscopy was more specific in detecting ears considered normal than abnormal ears. Among the abnormal ears, otoscopy was more sensitive in its detection of OME than negative middle ear pressure. Retraction of the tympanic membrane was the most specific otologic finding in detection of OME. Conclusion: Simple otoscopy is comparable to the accuracy of tympanometry in the diagnosis of OME.

Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 16 (1) 2007: pp. 57-60
AJOL African Journals Online