Exercises for Improving Soft Palate and Eustachian Tube Function in Children With Ear Tubes With or Without Cleft Palate

N

Noel Jabbour

Status

Terminated

Conditions

Tube Disorders Eustachian
Cleft Palate
Velopharyngeal Incompetence Due to Cleft Palate
Velopharyngeal Insufficiency

Treatments

Device: EMST150

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other
NIH

Identifiers

NCT03868891
PRO18110061
5R21DC017553-02 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility

About

Elevation of the soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth) during swallowing helps the Eustachian tube to open and keep the ear healthy. (The Eustachian tube is the normal tube running from the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat). When the soft palate does not move enough (due to a history of cleft palate or for unknown reasons), this can lead to speech problems. Also, because the Eustachian tube is not opening enough, fluid can accumulate in the middle ear, which requires treatment with ear tubes. The goal of this research study is to determine if soft palate exercises will help improve the ability of the soft palate to close the area between the throat and nose, like it is supposed to during speech and swallowing, and if this improves Eustachian tube opening.

Full description

This trial will look at the feasibility and effect of device-assisted soft palate exercises for the treatment of chronic Eustachian tube (ET) dysfunction (ETD) in older children still experiencing middle-ear disease. Children with or without cleft palate (CP) with ventilation tubes (VTs) will be evaluated for the function of the soft palate and the ET. Subjects with active muscular ETD and inadequate soft palate closure will be prescribed soft palate strengthening exercises for at least 2 months. The objective of the study is to demonstrate the effect of exercises on soft palate closure and ETF. This pilot study will enroll 30 children between ages 6-17 years with VTs or post-VT extrusion tympanic membrane (TM) perforations. All 30 children will have ETD, with active muscular dysfunction. 15 subjects will have a history of cleft palate (CP) and 15 no history of CP. Subjects will undergo history, physical examination including an ENT exam, video-otoscopy and ET function testing which may include Forced Response Test (FRT), Inflation-Deflation Test (IDT) and Tubomanometry. They will also undergo evaluations for swallow, speech and soft palate function. Enrolled children will then receive instruction on the use their EMST150 exercise device. This device will be used daily for at least 2 months. Subjects will undergo full evaluations for ET function and velopharyngeal incompetence after the 2-month treatment and will then discontinue the use of devices for at least 2 months. After this time, the same testing will be done. Weekly phone calls/emails/texts from study staff will encourage use of the devices as prescribed. The following secondary outcome measures were part of the original study protocol but were eliminated after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because the tests involved blowing maneuvers and risk of aerosolization. The protocol was modified to only include ETF tests that were necessary to achieve the goals of the study and that were safe for the participants. 'Velopharyngeal pressure after 2 months of exercise compared with baseline' 'Velopharyngeal pressure after 2 months of rest compared with baseline' 'Duration of velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of exercise compared with baseline' 'Duration of velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of rest compared with baseline' 'Ability to maintain velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of exercise compared with baseline' 'Ability to maintain velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of rest compared with baseline' 'Overall success in velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of exercise compared with baseline' 'Overall success in velopharyngeal closure following 2 months of rest compared with baseline' The following other pre-specified outcome measures were removed for the same reason: 'Velopharyngeal pressure after 2 months of rest compared with pressure immediately following 2 months of exercise' 'Duration of velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of rest compared with pressure immediately following 2 months of exercise' 'Ability to maintain velopharyngeal closure after 2 months of rest compared with ability immediately following 2 months of exercise' 'Overall success in velopharyngeal closure following 2 months of rest compared with success immediately following 2 months of exercise' 'Eustachian tube function after 2 months of rest compared with function immediately following 2 months of exercise' was moved from an other pre-specified outcome measure to a secondary outcome measure due to its similar level of importance to the other secondary outcome measures. Pressure chamber results were removed from outcome measures because they were unable to be obtained safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enrollment

11 patients

Sex

All

Ages

6 to 17 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • 6-17 years old
  • Otherwise healthy
  • Currently have unilateral or bilateral ventilation tube(s) (VTs) inserted for otitis media with effusion (OME) or tympanic membrane retraction/retraction pocket (TM-R/RP) or a TM perforation after extrusion of a VT
  • History of at least 2 sets of VT insertions in the past
  • Eustachian tube (ET) function (ETF) tests showing an active muscular pattern of Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Some degree of velopharyngeal dysfunction during the ETF tests
  • Cleft Palate (CP) cohort: non-syndromic; prior palatoplasty without complications or need for revision
  • Non-CP cohort: have had prior adenoidectomy

Exclusion criteria

  • Concurrent or past diagnosis of cancer or history of radiation
  • Have or had vestibular pathology, cranial base surgery or ossicular chain reconstruction
  • Craniofacial dysmorphology (other than non-syndromic CP with or without cleft lip in the CP cohort) or other syndrome
  • A non-patent nasal cavity
  • Patulous ET or pathologically low ET opening or closing pressures
  • Unable or unwilling to perform the tests and exercises outlined in the study

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

N/A

Interventional model

Single Group Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

11 participants in 1 patient group

EMST150
Experimental group
Description:
Subjects with or without cleft palate will use the EMST150 2 times a day for 8 weeks.
Treatment:
Device: EMST150

Trial documents
1

Trial contacts and locations

0

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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