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Prevalence of middle ear effusion among children with adenoid hypertrophy at a national referral hospital in Tanzania

Zephania Saitabau Abraham
Aveline Aloyce Kahinga
Enica Richard Massawe
Faustine Bukanu


Introduction: Middle ear effusion (MEE) is a common childhood disorder that causes hearing impairment due to the presence of fluid in  the middle ear which reduces the middle ear’s ability to conduct sound. Temporary or persistent hearing loss as a result of MEE causes  speech, language and learning delays in children. There are few studies on MEE in Tanzania despite the huge burden of hearing loss  among children with adenoid hypertrophy which is a known risk factor for MEE.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among  420 children aged nine years and below having adenoid hypertrophy with or without MEE. The diagnosis of adenoid hypertrophy was  confirmed with a lateral view x-ray of the nasopharynx and tympanometry for cases with MEE. The primary objective of the study was to  assess the prevalence of MEE among children with adenoid hypertrophy.

Results: The prevalence of MEE among children with adenoid  hypertrophy was 61.7%, with 218 (51.9%) males and 202 (48.1%) females. The most affected age group was 2-4 years with an incidence  193 (46%) and in this age group, males (53.9%) were more affected than females (46.1%). Generally, males, 134 (51.7%) were more  affected by MEE than females, 125 (48.3%) of all 259 children with MEE. In terms of age group predominance by MEE, children aged 3-4  years, 107(41.3%) were more affected than all other age groups. Additionally, 4 (1.5%) children with MEE presented with hearing loss.

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of MEE among children with adenoid hypertrophy but no significant association with hearing loss.