To compare the incidence of otorrhea in a group of infants with cleft palate (CP) and tympanostomy tubes before and after surgical repair of the CP.
Prospective observational study.
Otolaryngology clinic at a tertiary care children's hospital.
Thirty-three infants with CP and middle ear effusions who underwent tympanostomy tube placement. Subjects were observed from the time of tube placement until 6 months after CP repair.
Main Outcome Measure
Incidence of otorrhea before and after CP repair.
Subjects were observed a mean of 6.3 months before CP repair and 6 months after CP repair. Before CP repair, 11 of 33 infants (33%) had no episodes of otorrhea, compared with 22 of 33 (67%) after CP repair (P = .007). Fourteen infants (43%) had 2 or more episodes of otorrhea before CP repair compared with 2 (6%) after CP repair (P = .001). Before CP repair, significantly fewer tubes were patent at the time of the audiologic evaluation compared with after CP repair (39 of 62 [63%] vs 52 of 66 [79%]; P = .048). Average speech reception threshold for the infants with tympanostomy tubes before CP repair was 18.1 dB compared with 12.6 dB after CP repair (P = .01).
The incidence of otorrhea after tympanostomy tube placement before CP repair is higher than the incidence after CP repair, although more than half of all infants (19 [58%]) had either 1 or no episodes of otorrhea before CP repair.