This paper reports three cases of severe post-stapedectomy granuloma, emphasising the variable presentation of this devastating complication and the challenges of its management.
A retrospective review was conducted of three cases of post-stapedectomy granuloma requiring surgical debulking between 2010 and 2015. Clinical symptoms, serial imaging, histopathology and post-operative outcomes were considered.
Intra-operatively, extensive granulation tissue with erosion of the otic capsule was found. There was spread along the VIIth and VIIIth cranial nerves to the cochlear nucleus in one patient. Post-operative clinical improvement was demonstrable, corroborated by diminution of contrast enhancement on serial magnetic resonance imaging. Facial nerve function recovered, tinnitus amelioration was variable and some otalgia persisted. Post-operative complications included grade IV facial weakness and late Pseudomonas aeruginosa meningitis, which all resolved.
To the authors’ knowledge, this paper reports the only case of post-stapedectomy granuloma tracking to the brainstem. Otalgia was present in all our cases, and may be deemed a red flag symptom of progressive bony destruction and otic capsule involvement. Although granuloma remains rare, it should be considered in any patient with worsening otological symptoms following stapes surgery.
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