Noninvasive in vivo optical coherence tomography tracking of chronic otitis media in pediatric subjects after surgical intervention

Guillermo L. Monroy, Paritosh Pande, Ryan M. Nolan, Ryan L. Shelton, Ryan G. Porter, Michael A. Novak, Darold R. Spillman, Eric J. Chaney, Daniel T. McCormick, Stephen A. Boppart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an institutional review board-approved study, 25 pediatric subjects diagnosed with chronic or recurrent otitis media were observed over a period of six months with optical coherence tomography (OCT). Subjects were followed throughout their treatment at the initial patient evaluation and preoperative consultation, surgery (intraoperative imaging), and postoperative follow-up, followed by an additional six months of records-based observation. At each time point, the tympanic membrane (at the light reflex region) and directly adjacent middle-ear cavity were observed in vivo with a handheld OCT probe and portable system. Imaging results were compared with clinical outcomes to correlate the clearance of symptoms in relation to changes in the image-based features of infection. OCT images of most all participants showed the presence of additional infection-related biofilm structures during their initial consultation visit and similarly for subjects imaged intraoperatively before myringotomy. Subjects with successful treatment (no recurrence of infectious symptoms) had no additional structures visible in OCT images during the postoperative visit. OCT image findings suggest surgical intervention consisting of myringotomy and tympanostomy tube placement provides a means to clear the middle ear of infection-related components, including middle-ear fluid and biofilms. Furthermore, OCT was demonstrated as a rapid diagnostic tool to prospectively monitor patients in both outpatient and surgical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121614
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Otitis media
  • biofilm
  • myringotomy
  • optical coherence tomography
  • prospective observation
  • surgical intervention
  • tympanostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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