Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between isolated serous otitis media (SOM) and/or conductive hearing loss (CHL) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in a low-to-intermediate endemic area. Methods: Medical records of all adult patients (≥17 years) with SOM/CHL who underwent endoscopic-guided nasopharyngeal biopsy to exclude NPC during a 10-year period were reviewed. Statistical analyses were conducted to identify significant predictors for NPC. Results: A total of 195 patients were included (121/195; 62.1% men), among whom 169 (86.7%) presented with isolated SOM/CHL. Overall, 12 patients were diagnosed with NPC (12/195; 6.2%), however, only 1 patient (1/169; 0.6%) had isolated SOM/CHL. Coexisting clinical manifestations and suspicious nasopharyngeal findings on fiber-optic nasopharyngoscopy were found to be significant predictors for NPC on univariate and multivariate analyses (P <.05). Conclusion: Patients with isolated SOM/CHL and without coexisting clinical manifestations or suspicious findings on nasopharyngoscopy may avoid a routine nasopharyngeal biopsy.
- conductive hearing loss
- fiber-optic nasopharyngoscopy
- nasopharyngeal biopsy
- nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- serous otitis media