gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Establishment of standard values in sonotubometry

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Stefan Scheffczyk - HNO-Universitätsklinik RWTH Aachen, Aachen
  • E. Di Martino - HNO-Universitätsklinik RWTH Aachen, Aachen
  • C. Antweiler - HNO-Universitätsklinik RWTH Aachen, Aachen
  • E. Martinewski - HNO-Universitätsklinik RWTH Aachen, Aachen
  • M. Westhofen - HNO-Universitätsklinik RWTH Aachen, Aachen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno595

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Scheffczyk et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Sonotubometry detects Eustachian tube function. An increment of the sound level in the outer ear canal is registered, when the tube is opening. The sound signal consisting of perfect sequences is administered with a nasal device. This test can be applied to detect tubal function in clinical routine. We intended to establish standard values in adults and children.

Method: In a prospective study 14 children, aged 7 to 10 years (mean 8,8) and 20 adults, aged 28 to 67 years (mean 43,5) showing no signs of middle ear or pharyngeal disorders, performed the following manoeuvres: 1) swallowing water 2) dry swallowing 3) Valsalva`s manoeuvre 4) yawning.

Results: A total number of 239 measurements in children and 445 in adults were performed. Tubal function could be registered in 171 procedures (71,6%) in children and in 362 procedures (81,4%) in adults. Highest rates in detecting tubal openings could be found with swallowing water and dry swallowing (>95%) in children and adults, followed by 89% with yawning in children and 83% with yawning in adults. Lowest rates produced Valsalva`s manoeuvre: 38% in children and 63% in adults. The increment of sound pressure level had a range from 0,5dB to 21,05 dB in adults and 0,98dB to 35,89 dB in children. In 40% of measurements levels were in the interval 5-10dB in children and adults.

Conclusion: Sonotubometry with perfect sequences is a method to monitor tubal function under physiological conditions. It has a highly sensitive and specific for testing tubal function with swallowing. The increment of sound pressure level does not depend on the age of the tested subject.

Supported by START grant 84/02


Di Martino E, Thaden R, Krombach G, Westhofen M. Funktionsuntersuchungen der Tuba Eustachii. Aktueller Stand. HNO. 2004;52:1029-39.