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Perilymph fistula: the patients' experience

  • J A Meldrum (a1) and P R Prinsley (a2) (a3)



This study aimed to assess the experiences and outcomes of patients who underwent surgical repair of a perilymph fistula in Norfolk, UK.


The study involved a retrospective questionnaire-based patient survey and case note review of patients who had undergone tympanotomy and perilymph fistula repair between 1998 and 2012 in two district general hospitals.


Fourteen patients underwent 20 procedures, of whom 7 completed the pre- and post-operative Vertigo Symptom Scale. In five patients, there was no obvious precipitating cause. Perilymph fistula was precipitated by noise in one patient, by a pressure-increasing event in six patients and by trauma in two patients. The Vertigo Symptom Scale scores showed a statistically significant improvement following surgical repair, from a median of 67 (out of 175) pre-operatively to 19 post-operatively.


In selected patients with vertigo, perilymph fistula should be considered; surgical repair can significantly improve symptoms.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Ms J A Meldrum, 36 Marewa Street, Kew, Dunedin 9012, New Zealand E-mail:


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