The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

A Non-invasive Method to Assess Tensor Tympani Muscle Contraction in Response to Tactile Stimulation


Department of Audiology, İstanbul Medipol University Faculty of Health Sciences, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Otolaryngology, İstanbul Medipol University Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

J Int Adv Otol 2022; 18: 214-218
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2022.21312
Read: 862 Downloads: 396 Published: 01 May 2022

BACKGROUND: The function of the tensor tympani muscle and its effects, as well as a universal testing procedure, is not yet known. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of tactile stimulation on the tensor tympani muscle activity in an attempt to evaluate the functional status of the muscle.

METHODS: In this study, 20 healthy adults aged between 18 and 30 years were included. All participants had their history taken, as well as the evaluation of otoscopy, audiometry, and tympanometry. A modified reflex decay paradigm was used to evaluate the tensor tympani muscle activity, in both humans and a fresh-frozen cadaver. The tactile stimulation was applied by thumb tappings on different forehead areas.

RESULTS: Reflex decay responses were in the form of the absence of a response or either a positive or negative waveform. Tactile stimulation had no impact on reflex decay recordings obtained from the cadaver. There was no significant difference between the waveforms obtained from both ears, at different stimulation frequencies, tactile stimulation areas, or the 3 successive stimuli for 1 individual in 1 ear (P > .05). Changes observed in the reflex decay test upon tactile stimulation seem to be due to tensor tympani muscle activity as supported by the previous findings in the literature.

CONCLUSION: The application of a tactile stimulus on the forehead is a non-invasive test method to assess tensor tympani muscle contraction. Understanding the function of the tensor tympani muscle using a non-invasive method will be helpful during the decision-making process in the practice of otology.

Cite this article as: Yılmaz O, Öztürk ŞT, Yaman S, Alagöz Z, Beyazıt D, Beyazıt YA. A non-invasive method to assess tensor tympani muscle contraction in response to tactile stimulation. J Int Adv Otol. 2022;18(3):214-218.

EISSN 2148-3817