Nasopharyngeal biopsy in adults presenting with serous otitis media: Cross-sectional study

Shahaf Shilo, Sara Abu-Ghanem, Moshe Yehuda, Anat Weinger, Dan M. Fliss, Avraham Abergel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1565-1572
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • conductive hearing loss
  • fiber-optic nasopharyngoscopy
  • nasopharyngeal biopsy
  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • serous otitis media


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