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Assessments of the size of tympanic membrane perforations: A comparison of clinical estimations with video-otoscopic calculations

| Reprints
September 26, 2008
by Titus S. Ibekwe, FWACS, Onyekwere G.B. Nwaorgu, FWACS, Aderemi A. Adeosun, FWACS, Daniel D. Kokong, MBBS, Hakeem O. Lawal, MBBS, Patrick O. Okundia, MBBS, and Paul A. Onakoya, FWACS (Ib)


We conducted a study to determine how accurate various ENT specialists were in estimating the size of 100 tympanic membrane (TM) perforations with standard otoscopy. The specialists included, in descending order of rank, 2 Consultant Surgeons, 2 Senior Registrars, and 2 Registrars, all of whom had confirmed good vision. We compared their estimates, which were made independently and expressed as a percentage of the total area of the TM, with exact measurements calculated with computer-based video-otoscopy. We found that the video-otoscopic calculations were far superior to the estimates of the specialists, even the most experienced Consultants (p < 0.01). We recommend that video-otoscopy be used whenever possible.

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