Ventilation tube (VT) insertion is an accepted treatment for chronic otitismedia with effusion (OME) in children. One hundred and eighty five children with bilateral OME were treated by unilateral myringotomy and VT insertion with no treatment to the contralateral ear. During a 5 year follow-up 95 of the children required only one VT but the remainer required more than one but always treatment was carried out to the same ear. The rate of development of tympanosclerosis was measured and scored. After 2–3 yearsthe extent of the sclerotic changes stabilised and the rate of development reached 37–39 per cent in ears receiving only one VT, compared with 47–49 per cent in ears treated by more than one tube. The extent of the changes was no different whether or not one or more than one tube had been inserted. There was no overall evidence of resolution of sclerotic change with time.
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