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Reporting in stapes surgery: are we following the guidelines?

  • G J Watson (a1) and M da Cruz (a2)



This paper highlights the importance of reporting air–bone gap closure in stapes surgery according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery guidelines and reviews compliance in recent years.


A retrospective case series was conducted and the outcomes were reviewed. Closure of the air–bone gap was calculated in 204 adult patients using the aforementioned guidelines. Results were recalculated ignoring the Carhart phenomenon to determine any significant difference. Adherence to guidelines was also reported as a secondary outcome.


Ignoring the Carhart phenomenon resulted in 75 per cent over-reporting of successful air–bone gap closure (p < 0.001). Over-reporting occurred in 5.9 per cent of papers, and in 11.8 per cent it was difficult to determine how the results were reached.


Despite the existence of clear guidelines, stapes surgery outcomes are still being over-reported as successful. This can lead to incorrect information being provided to patients during the consent process and makes comparative studies difficult.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr G J Watson, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK E-mail:


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Mr G J Watson takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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Reporting in stapes surgery: are we following the guidelines?

  • G J Watson (a1) and M da Cruz (a2)


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