Involvement of pterygoid venous plexus in patulous eustachian tube symptoms

Takeshi Oshima, Masaki Ogura, Toshiaki Kikuchi, Yoko Hori, Shunji Mugikura, Shuichi Higano, Shoki Takahashi, Tetsuaki Kawase, Toshimitsu Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Conclusions. The pterygoid venous plexus (PVP) is an important factor in the mechanism of eustachian tube (ET) closure under conditions that can cause increased venous pressure in the head, such as during neck compression and postural change from the sitting/standing to the recumbent position. Objectives. The symptoms of patulous ET are usually improved by neck compression or postural change (from sitting/standing to recumbent position). Venous congestion around the ET and/or gravitational change may be involved in the changing degree of symptoms, but its mechanism is not understood. This study investigated whether the PVP is involved. Materials and methods. The dimensions of soft tissues surrounding ET were measured on magnetic resonance images before and after neck compression. Results. The lateral pterygoid muscle became enlarged after neck compression. Simultaneously, the volume of venous plexus observed between the medial pterygoid muscle and tensor veli palatini muscle was increased. Such enlargement was probably due to blood pooling in the PVP, resulting in protrusion of the ET anterior wall to the luminal side, and decreased ET patency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neck compression
  • Postural change


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