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The diagnosis ‘acoustic shock’ has been made increasingly in the health care industry in recent years. This paper aims to question the validity of acoustic shock as an organic pathological entity.
The experiences of 16 individuals diagnosed as having acoustic shock, within a medico-legal practice, are reviewed.
The commonest symptom was otalgia, followed by noise sensitivity, tinnitus, hearing disturbance and dizziness.
The presence of noise-limiting technology in the workplace, the variation in the nature of the acoustic incident involved (ranging from a shriek, through feedback noise, to a male voice), and the marked variation in the time of symptom onset (following the acoustic incident) all suggest that the condition termed acoustic shock is predominantly psychogenic. Cases of pseudohypacusis indicate that malingering is a factor in some cases. Clusters of acoustic shock events occurring in the same call centres suggest that hysteria may play a part. The condition is usually only seen when work-related issues are apparent.
Immunoglobulin G4 related disease is an inflammatory condition characterised by the presence of fibrotic lesions infiltrated by immunoglobulin G4 positive plasma cells. It can arise from almost any region of the body and it is being increasingly recognised in the head and neck. Regardless of the site of involvement, the histopathological resemblance is remarkable. Dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltration, overabundance of immunoglobulin G4 bearing plasma cells and presence of storiform fibrosis are typical findings.
This paper presents two cases of immunoglobulin G4 related disease in which there was involvement of the orbit, the infraorbital nerve and the infratemporal fossa. Diagnosis was established in both cases by biopsying radiologically abnormal tissue in the infratemporal fossa.
An awareness of this condition is required to establish the diagnosis and initiate appropriate therapy. Glucocorticoids are the mainstay of initial treatment. The effectiveness of B-lymphocyte depletion with rituximab has also been reported. Correct diagnosis may spare patients from unnecessarily radical surgery.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the psychological and functional impact attributed to acoustic neuroma symptoms.
Materials and methods:
A sample of 207 acoustic neuroma patients completed a study-specific questionnaire about the severity, frequency, and psychological and functional impact of 9 acoustic neuroma symptoms.
The survey response rate was 56.4 per cent. All symptoms had some degree of psychological impact for the majority of participants; hearing loss was the symptom most often reported to have a severe psychological impact. The majority of respondents reported functional impact attributed to hearing loss, balance disturbance, dizziness, eye problems, headache and fatigue; balance disturbance was the symptom most often reported to have a severe functional impact. For most symptoms, psychological and functional impact were related to severity and frequency.
Of the acoustic neuroma symptoms investigated, hearing loss and balance disturbance were the most likely to have a severe psychological and functional impact, respectively.
To evaluate the efficacy of low-dose intratympanic dexamethasone therapy in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss whose hearing in the affected ear had failed to improve following a course of oral steroid therapy.
A prospective pilot study was undertaken of eight patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss whose hearing had failed to improve after a course of prednisolone. These patients subsequently received 8 mg intratympanic dexamethasone therapy, delivered via a ventilation tube on a weekly basis for 1 month. Clinical outcome was assessed weekly with pure tone audiography.
At the end of the 1-month treatment period, no significant hearing improvement was observed on pure tone audiography in any of the patients (i.e. improvements were all less than 10 dB).
The response to 8 mg of intratympanic dexamethasone used as a salvage therapy for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss was inadequate. A higher dosage of intratympanic dexamethasone might be required to achieve better outcomes.
To assess the epidemiology of vestibular vertigo, including the new entity of vestibular migraine, in a neuro-otology clinic population in the biggest public hospital in Thailand.
Study design and setting:
A prospective study involving all patients presenting to the neuro-otology clinic in the Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok between November 2007 and November 2008.
Subjects and methods:
The population studied consisted of adults referred to the neuro-otology clinic. Accepted international criteria and standardised otological and, when necessary, psychiatric assessment were applied to establish each diagnosis. The association between diagnoses and potential triggers was explored.
Of the 167 patients assessed, the most prevalent conditions encountered were benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and vestibular migraine. The prevalence of vestibular migraine was 29.3 per cent. No cases of Ménière's disease were encountered. An association was found between vestibular migraine and inadequate sleep, insomnia and changes of head position.
This study provides current data on the epidemiology of vestibular vertigo in a Thai neuro-otology out-patient population. The results include data on the prevalence of the new diagnostic entity of vestibular migraine, and on its association with potential triggers.
To assess the frequency of anterior pharyngeal pouch formation after total laryngectomy, and to discuss the causes and consequences of anterior pharyngeal pouch formation.
A prospective, observational study of 43 patients undergoing total laryngectomy.
Data collected included laryngeal defect closure type, tumour staging and demographic information. A barium swallow was performed on day 7–14 after surgery to assess for anterior pharyngeal pouch formation and fistula formation.
The incidence of anterior pharyngeal pouch formation was 47 per cent. Patients who did not have an anterior pharyngeal pouch on swallow imaging assessment were less likely to develop a pharyngo-cutaneous fistula. There was no statistically significant association between laryngeal defect closure type and anterior pharyngeal pouch formation.
The anterior pharyngeal pouch is a dynamic phenomenon best investigated with a fluoroscopic swallow imaging study. Its causes are multi-factorial. Absence of an anterior pharyngeal pouch appears to confer protection against pharyngo-cutaneous fistula formation, hastening commencement of adjuvant therapy and an oral diet.
To assess the outcome of children with chronic rhinosinusitis who were managed surgically, over a 10-year study period.
From January 1999 to December 2008 inclusive, 136 children diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis underwent surgery following unsuccessful medical treatment. The operations ranged from adenoidectomy to functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
The surgical procedures performed were: adenoidectomy (n = 69), antral washouts (n = 54), middle meatal antrostomy (n = 82), endoscopic ethmoidectomy (n = 66), nasal septal reconstruction (n = 10), and inferior turbinate outfracture (n = 23) or inferior turbinate reductions (n = 55). Follow-up duration ranged from 6 months to 9 years (average 3.2 years). Three patients required revision surgery: adenoidectomy in two patients and adenoidectomy with turbinate reductions in another.
This study demonstrates the benefits of focused surgical treatment for paediatric chronic rhinosinusitis. Surgical treatment can be an appropriate and effective option for children with chronic rhinosinusitis when medical management is unsuccessful.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of coblation in relieving inferior turbinate hypertrophy in children.
An observational cohort study was undertaken. The severity of allergic rhinitis and the severity and degree of nasal obstruction were assessed using subjective and clinical symptom grading tools, a visual analogue scale, and endoscopy. Any post-operative complications were noted at 1 week, and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Data from extended follow-up periods were included when available. The statistical significance of changes in parameter values was assessed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Thirty-two patients were recruited (mean age, 11.28 years; range, 6–17 years). Significant post-operative improvement (p < 0.001) was noted in the severity and degree of nasal obstruction. This improvement was maintained after a mean follow-up period of 10.5 months (range, 1 month to 4 years). No mucosal ulceration or adhesion was encountered. Minimal crusting was noted in 8.57 per cent of patients at 1-week follow up. Allergic rhinitis symptoms improved significantly.
Inferior turbinate reduction by coblation is an effective and safe procedure in children aged six years and older. The positive outcomes seem to be long-lasting.
Cochlear implants have enabled an improved quality of life for many patients with deafness. Implant extrusion and skin flap necrosis are the most common complications associated with implant use. We report our management of patients presenting with complications as a result of cochlear implant insertion. The goal of surgery was to achieve a stable, healed wound for use as a cochlear device implantation site.
Methods and results:
We describe a series of patients presenting with skin flap necrosis and/or extrusion of their cochlear implant. The reconstructive options employed are discussed.
Surgeons should be aware of the reconstructive options available in such circumstances, and should choose appropriate management depending on the clinical situation, in order to optimise the functional result for the patient.
Less than 1 per cent of tumours occurring in the region encompassing the internal auditory canal and the cerebellopontine angle are malignant. Primary central nervous system melanomas arising from this region are exceptionally rare and are often initially misdiagnosed as acoustic neuromas.
We present a 71-year-old man with acute vestibular disturbance and unilateral hearing loss. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a mass, thought to be a cochlear nerve schwannoma, involving the cochlea and the internal auditory canal. At surgery, a pigmented mass adherent to the facial nerve was visualised, and the observed histopathology was consistent with a malignant melanoma. No extracranial site for the primary tumour was found, suggestive of a primary central nervous system melanoma.
Despite surgical resection and adjuvant radiotherapy, the patient re-presented with extensive leptomeningeal disease 16 months later.
Malignant tumours in the internal auditory canal and cerebellopontine angle region are rare. Early diagnosis and management are aided by recognition of characteristic factors such as a history of prior malignancy, atypical magnetic resonance imaging findings and accelerated audiovestibular symptoms. Despite the presented patient's outcome, total surgical resection with post-operative radiotherapy remains the recommended treatment.