Ear Pic of the Week: Atelectatic Tympanic Membrane

Dr. Stephanie Moody-Antonio, an Otolaryngology specialist practicing in Norfolk, VA brings us this week’s Ear Pic of the Week. The diagnosis: Atelectatic Tympanic Membrane. We asked Dr. Moody-Antonio a few questions to help us learn more about this condition.

Patient's left eardrum captured by the CellScope Oto.

Patient’s left eardrum captured by the CellScope Oto.

The patient's right eardrum as captured by the CellScope Oto.

The patient’s right eardrum as captured by the CellScope Oto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What is an atelectatic tympanic membrane?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: It’s a thin eardrum, usually as a result of chronic negative middle ear pressure.

(CellScope: Negative middle ear pressure is caused by a blocked Eustachian tube and absorption of air from the middle ear space.)

Q: What causes this condition?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Q: What are the symptoms?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Usually asymptomatic, but over time may contribute to erosion of the incus (as can be seen in the picture), hearing loss, & development of cholesteatoma.

Q: How is it treated?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: It can be treated with observation, myringotomy and tube, cartilage graft tympanoplasty, or other surgical techniques.

Q: CellScope: Does it affect hearing?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Yes, if it results in erosion of the incus.

Thanks again, Dr. Moody-Antonio for sharing these great images and for teaching us about atelectatic tympanic membrane!

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