Structural and functional properties of the healed tympanic membrane: A long-term follow-up after laser myringotomy
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Otology and neurotology. - Philadelphia, Pa.
, p. 685-691
University of Antwerp
Hypothesis: The short-term healing scar that forms after experimental laser myringotomy will revert to a normal lamina propria in the long run. The mechanical stiffness will stay normal. Background: Recent studies have shown severe structural changes in the fibrous layer in the early course after experimental laser myringotomy, whereas the scar quickly restored the strength of the tympanic membrane (TM). A reorganization of the fiber layer is expected to occur. Methods: Potassium titanyl phosphate laser myringotomy was made on one side of the TM in Sprague-Dawley rats. The ear of the other side was untouched and used for control. After half a year of observation, the stiffness and strength of the healed TNls were measured with moire interferometry and examined with otomicroscopy and light and electron microscopy. Results: The interferometry readings showed a slightly reduced strength in the myringotomized and healed TMs. After half a year, still there were immense structural changes including increased thickness over a wide area of the pars tensa with increased amounts of fibers. An obvious reorganization of the fiber layer was lacking. Conclusion: Laser myringotomy causes profound, long-standing, or permanent structural changes in the lamina propria of the pars tensa, whereas the strength of the TM may become slightly reduced.