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Middle Ear Atelectasis| causes, symptoms, complications and treatment

Definition: Displacement of part or all of the tympanic membrane toward the ossicles and the promontory.

Causes of Middle Ear Atelectasis

1-Prolonged Eustachian tube dysfunction or obstruction.
2-Loss of the fibrous layer of the tympanic membrane through an immune response or due to long standing middle ear effusion.

1- Localized or retraction pocket.
2- Diffuse retraction.

complications and sequelae

1-Tympanic membrane perforation.
2-Ossicular erosion.
3-Cholesteatoma formation.


Deafness, or may be asymptomatic.


Collapse of the tympanic membrane on the promontory without adhesion.


PTA reveals conductive hearing loss. Impedance audiometer reveals type C curve due to Eustachian tube obstruction.

Treatment of Middle Ear Atelectasis

 It is effective in early cases. It includes exercises to ventilate the Eustachian tube as Valsalva maneuver, politzerization and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

 Myringotomy with ventilation tube insertion. Cartilage tympanoplasty is indicated in severe cases.


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