Thirty previously unoperated patients with submu-cous cleft palate, occult submucous cleft palate, and unilateral congenital paralysis of the levator veli palatini muscle were examined. All patients were subjected to a comprehensive otoscopic, endoscopie, audiologic, and tympanometric evaluation. A correlation was made between levator veli palatini muscle anomalies, eustachian tube orifice anomalies, and middle ear ventilation and disorders. Normal middle ear ventilation was found in 23 patients. Negative middle ear pressure that consequently normalized following treatment of coexisting sinusitis was found in 3 patients. Only in 4 patients was chronic middle ear disease found. In one of them, middle ear effusion disappeared following successful treatment of sinusitis. Our conclusion is that the levator veli palatini muscle has no significant function in the opening mechanism of the eustachian tube and must be considered as a velopharyngeal valve muscle only.