The role of the tensor veli palatini muscle in the development of cleft palate-associated middle ear problems
Aggressive otologic management has been recommended for children with cleft palate because of the almost universal occurrence of otitis media with effusion (OME) in these children and the association of OME with hearing loss and possible language, cognitive, and academic delays. In this study, 28 children with cleft palate and 29 noncleft children were seen at 3-month intervals from 9 to 30 months to compare otologic treatment and management. Hearing and middle ear function were tested at each session; information on ventilation tube placement was obtained from medical records. Ventilation tubes were placed earlier and more often in children with cleft palate, but children with cleft palates failed the hearing screening more often. The correlation between age at first tube placement and frequency of hearing screening failures was significant for the children with cleft palate, indicating that the later tubes were first placed, the poorer the child's hearing.