To assess an alternative to bed rest and surgery for suspected perilymphatic fistulas using intratympanic blood injections.
A review was conducted of patients’ history, physical and audiometric data, before and after treatment by intratympanic blood injections performed from 2009 to 2015.
Twelve ears were identified, with trauma associated with air travel, water sports or nose blowing. Ten of these cases had hearing loss, six had vestibular symptoms. Four cases had audiological and vestibular symptoms, two had vestibular symptoms only, and six had audiological symptoms only. Time-to-treat varied from 1 day to 30 days. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained for five cases. Ten cases received steroids. Six out of seven cases showed improvement of hearing loss. Five cases showed positive fistula test results, four with documented resolution. Seven cases had full resolution of all symptoms, four had near-full resolution and one had no improvement.
Intratympanic blood injections offer an effective alternative to conservative or surgical therapy. Advantages include sooner time-to-treat, lower financial costs and decreased psychosocial burdens. It allows a more flexible and liberal use of a potential definite treatment for perilymphatic fistula.
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