[abstract] NASOPHARYNGEAL PRESSURE DURING MIDDLE EAR EQUALIZATION: A DEVICE TO SUPPORT INVESTIGATION OF AURAL BAROTRAUMA.

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[abstract] NASOPHARYNGEAL PRESSURE DURING MIDDLE EAR EQUALIZATION: A DEVICE TO SUPPORT INVESTIGATION OF AURAL BAROTRAUMA.

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Title: [abstract] NASOPHARYNGEAL PRESSURE DURING MIDDLE EAR EQUALIZATION: A DEVICE TO SUPPORT INVESTIGATION OF AURAL BAROTRAUMA.
Author: Uguccioni, DM; Natoli, MJ; Comfort, BJ; Justus, MA; Freiberger, JJ; Vann, RD
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The most common question to DAN Medics concerns aural barotrauma which occurs during diving when the Eustachian tube fails to equalize the middle ear and environmental pressures. Eustachian tube function is traditionally measured by tympanography, but previous work indicated little correlation between tympanography and barotrauma (Denoble PJ et al. UHM 2006; 33:364). We developed a device to measure nasopharyngeal (NP) pressure during middle ear equalization at sea level. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The device measured NP pressure at the time of middle ear equalization as determined by peak ear canal pressure change. Pressure transducers were connected via tubing to an ear canal and nostril with the other nostril manually blocked. Pressures were recorded for five seconds while the subject performed a middle ear equalization maneuver. We report on measurements in 20 divers. Sixteen individuals were tested on one day and four individuals were tested on three days of diving. Ear pain, congestion and medications taken during diving were recorded. RESULTS: 168 measurements of NP pressure (three per diver ear) were made in 20 divers who conducted 56 dives. 142 NP measurements (85%) were considered acceptable. Measurements were rejected if the NP pressure change did not coincide with the maximum ear canal pressure change. Mean NP pressures at ear equalization ranged from -26.0 to 111.1 cm H2O. There were no reports of aural barotrauma. The distribution of mean NP measurements is shown below. Mean NP Pressure (cm H2O) N, <0 9; >0 to S, 20 12; >20 to S, 40 14; >40 to S, 60 6; >60 to S, 80 6; >80 to S, 100 3; >100 to S, 120 1; CONCLUSIONS: Our eventual objective is to test the hypothesis that the nasopharyngeal pressure at which the middle ear equalizes is associated with the risk of aural barotrauma.
Description: Abstract of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. Annual Scientific Meeting held June 14-16, 2007. Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Maui, Hawaii (http:www.uhms.org)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5112
Date: 2007

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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