Cleft Palate and Eustachian Tube Function

Middle Ear Pressure Disregulation in Cleft Palate Patients

Protocol Description

This study tests the relationship between the common occurrence of otitis media in infants and children with palatal clefts and the function of the Eustachian tubes. It is believed that the otitis media in cleft palate infants and children is caused by poor Eustachian tube function, which in turn is caused by anatomic problems in the muscles that open the tube. Otitis media is characterized by fluid in the middle ear, which can cause hearing loss.

Eligibility Criteria

Children from birth to 24 months with cleft palate may be eligible to enter this study.
Boys: Up to 24 months
Girls: Up to 24 months


Children enrolled in the program will have Eustachian tube function tests prior to and after their cleft palate repair surgery and annually thereafter through age 6. Tests will include ear, nose, and throat examinations, tympanometry, Eustachian tube function testing, and, at age 5 or 6, cephalometric x-rays.
Visits: 6 to 8
Duration: Up to 6 years

Status: Closed to enrollment

Source(s) of Support

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Primary Investigator

Cuneyt Alper, MD

Contact Information

For information, please contact:
Jim Seroky, MA