Comparison of Balloon Dilation and Laser Eustachian Tuboplasty in Patients with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: A Meta-analysis

Tang Chuan Wang*, Chia Der Lin, Tzu Ching Shih, Hsiung Kwang Chung, Ching Yuang Wang, Yung An Tsou, Ching Hsuan Huang, Ming Hsui Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to perform a meta-analysis examining balloon dilatation and laser tuboplasty for the treatment of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). Data Sources: PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase search up to April 18, 2016, with the following keywords: eustachian, middle-ear, eustachian tuboplasty, balloon tuboplasty, laser tuboplasty, laser dilatation, and balloon dilatation. Review Methods: Randomized controlled trials and prospective, retrospective, and 1-arm studies of patients with ETD treated with balloon dilatation or laser tuboplasty were included. Outcome measures were improvement of eustachian tube score (ETS) and tympanometry and Valsalva maneuver results. Results: Two retrospective and 11 prospective studies were included (1063 patients; 942 treated with balloon and 121 with laser tuboplasty). Balloon tuboplasty resulted in a significant improvement of ETS (pooled standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-1.66; P =.009) and, compared with laser tuboplasty, a greater tympanometry improvement rate (pooled event rate = 73% vs 13%; P =.001). Valsalva maneuver improvement rate was not different between the group results (pooled event rate = 67% vs 50%; P =.472). The maximum number of studies that provided outcome data for any one measure was only 4, and sensitivity analysis indicated ETS results may have been overly influenced by 2 studies. No balloon tuboplasty studies reported ETS data, preventing comparison between the 2 procedures. Conclusion: Both procedures can improve symptoms of ETD; however, because of the limited numbers of studies reporting data of the outcomes of interest, it remains unclear if one procedure provides greater benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-626
Number of pages10
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 01 04 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2018.


  • balloon dilatation
  • eustachian tube dysfunction
  • laser
  • meta-analysis
  • tuboplasty


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