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Determinants of hearing loss severity in tympanic membrane perforations in a sub-Saharan African setting

  • E Choffor-Nchinda (a1), F Djomou (a1) (a2), R-C Meva'a Biouele (a3), D Mindja (a1) (a3), A Bola (a2), I Kewe (a4), J-E Vokwely (a5) and R Njock (a1) (a6)...

Factors specific to sub-Saharan Africa could have an impact on tympanic membrane perforation characteristics. Obtaining precise information on these characteristics and determinants of hearing loss severity would enable better management.


To determine the relationship between characteristics of tympanic membrane perforation and subsequent hearing impairment.


A cross-sectional study of consenting patients presenting with tympanic membrane perforation was conducted. They were examined using otoendoscopy with a digital camera to obtain precise measurements, followed by pure tone audiometry.


Eighty-six cases of tympanic membrane perforation were included. Mean tympanic membrane perforation proportion was 34.1 ± 18.4 per cent. Medium-sized tympanic membrane perforations were predominant (47.7 per cent). Median tympanic membrane perforation duration was 20 years. Tympanic membrane perforation size was found to be a predictor of hearing loss severity (odds ratio = 2.5, 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.02–6.13, p = 0.04).


Tympanic membrane perforation size was a predictor of hearing loss severity in our setting. Site, duration and aetiology seem to have no impact on hearing loss severity.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Dr Emmanuel Choffor-Nchinda, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon E-mail:
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Dr E Choffor-Nchinda takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

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