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Symptoms, including tinnitus, ear pain and vertigo, have been reported following exposure to wind turbine noise. This review addresses the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise and questions the existence of ‘wind turbine syndrome’.
This review is based on a search for articles published within the last 10 years, conducted using the PubMed database and Google Scholar search engine, which included in their title or abstract the terms ‘wind turbine’, ‘infrasound’ or ‘low frequency noise’.
There is evidence that infrasound has a physiological effect on the ear. Until this effect is fully understood, it is impossible to conclude that wind turbine noise does not cause any of the symptoms described. However, many believe that these symptoms are related largely to the stress caused by unwanted noise exposure.
There is some evidence of symptoms in patients exposed to wind turbine noise. The effects of infrasound require further investigation.
Sore throat is a common condition associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection, and recurrent episodes of infection may result in chronic tonsillitis. The current UK and USA guidelines for tonsillectomy use the incidence of sore throat episodes as an indication for surgery. However, the mechanism of sore throat is poorly described in the literature.
This review will provide basic information for the clinician regarding: the causes, pathophysiology and neurophysiology of sore throat; the mechanism of inflammation; and the role of transient receptor potential ion channels as nociceptors involved in sore throat. The review will present new ideas on the mechanism of ice therapy as an analgesic for post-tonsillectomy pain, and the role of vanilloid and cold receptors.
To assess auditory processing in noise-exposed subjects with normal audiograms and compare the findings with those of non-noise-exposed normal controls.
Ten noise-exposed Royal Air Force aircrew pilots were compared with 10 Royal Air Force administrators who had no history of noise exposure. Participants were matched in terms of age and sex. The subjects were assessed in terms of: pure tone audiometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions, suppression of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions in contralateral noise and auditory processing task performance (i.e. masking, frequency discrimination, auditory attention and speech-in-noise).
All subjects had normal pure tone audiometry and transient evoked otoacoustic emissions amplitudes in both ears. The noise-exposed aircrew had similar pure tone audiometry thresholds to controls, but right ear transient evoked otoacoustic emissions were larger and speech-in-noise thresholds were elevated in the noise-exposed subjects compared to controls.
The finding of poorer speech-in-noise perception may reflect noise-related impairment of auditory processing in retrocochlear pathways. Audiometry may not detect early, significant noise-induced hearing impairment.
To investigate the feasibility of postauricular hypodermic injection for treating inner ear disorders, we compared perilymph pharmacokinetics for postauricular versus intravenous injection, using magnetic resonance imaging, in an animal model.
Twelve albino guinea pigs were divided randomly into two groups and administered gadopentetate dimeglumine via either a postauricular or an intravenous bolus injection. A 7.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system was used to assess the signal intensities of gadolinium-enhanced images of the cochlea, as a biomarker for changes in gadopentetate dimeglumine concentration in the perilymph. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated based on these signal intensity values.
Guinea pigs receiving postauricular injection showed longer times to peak signal intensity, longer elimination half-life, longer mean residence time and a greater area under the signal–time curve (from pre-injection to the last time point) (p < 0.05).
Postauricular injection shows potential as an efficient drug delivery route for the treatment of inner ear disorders.
Lesions arising in the external auditory canal that require surgical excision are uncommon. They are associated with a range of pathologies, including bony abnormalities, infections, benign and malignant neoplasms, and epithelial disorders.
This paper describes a 10-year personal case series of external auditory canal lesions with chart, imaging and histopathology review.
In total, 48 lesions required surgical management, consisting of: 13 bony lesions; 14 infective lesions; 14 neoplasms with 11 histological types (including ceruminous adenoma and the extremely rare cavernous haemangioma); 3 epithelial abnormalities; and 4 other benign lesions. The surgical management is described.
This study emphasises the diagnostic differences between exostoses and osteomas, and between external auditory canal cholesteatoma and keratosis obturans. It also discusses the management of aural polyps, and highlights the need to excise external auditory canal masses for histology in order to guide subsequent treatment.
To investigate the role of Langerhans cells in the pathogenesis and clinical picture of middle-ear cholesteatoma.
Subjects and methods:
The study included 40 patients operated upon for a diagnosis of chronic otitis due to acquired cholesteatoma.
Results and analysis:
A closed surgical technique was used in 20 per cent of patients and an open technique in 80 per cent. Langerhans cells were more densely accumulated in cholesteatoma epithelium, compared with external ear canal skin (p < 0.001). Staining for Ki-67 protein was greater in cholesteatoma epithelium (p < 0.001) and Apo2.7 protein staining (indicating apoptosis) was more prominent (p < 0.001), compared with ear canal skin. Regarding significant relationships between clinical and pathological findings, staining for Ki-67 (p = 0.046) and Apo2.7 (p = 0.037) was more prominent in patients undergoing open versus closed surgery.
Using cell proliferation and apoptosis markers, a dense Langerhans cell infiltration was found to occur as a host response to middle-ear cholesteatoma.
In this study, we evaluated the effect of low-level lasers on the healing of tympanic membrane perforation, one of the most common otological pathologies.
Methods and materials:
Twenty-four guinea pigs were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. One day after the induction of a 2 mm diameter, centred myringotomy in all animals, the tympanic membranes in the experimental group were irradiated with 630 and 860 nm lasers for 10 days. Two weeks later, histological changes in the membranes were evaluated.
Tympanic membrane thickening and inflammatory cell infiltration in the tympanic membranes and surrounding tissues were significantly less in the experimental group (p < 0.001). The distance from the external auditory canal wall to the malleus tip did not differ significantly between the two groups (p = 0.42).
The results show that the combined application of 630 and 860 nm lasers had a significant effect on the healing of tympanic membrane perforation, and on the prevention of thick fibrotic or atelectatic neomembrane formation.
Rhino-sinus mucosal involvement is well documented in untreated lepromatous leprosy, but less understood in ex-leprosy patients (i.e. leprosy patients who have been treated and cured) with atrophic rhinitis.
Materials and methods:
Rhino-sinus abnormalities were investigated in 13 ex-lepromatous leprosy patients with atrophic rhinitis, using interviews enquiring about sinonasal symptoms, nasal endoscopy, nasal swab culture and computed tomography. Endoscopic sinus surgery had been performed in three patients. The clinical course, computed tomography findings and nasal biopsy results of these three patients were evaluated.
All patients had turbinate atrophy and 6 of the 13 (46.2 per cent) had septal perforation. Paranasal sinus involvement was noted in 9 of 12 examined patients (75 per cent). The most commonly affected sinus was the maxillary sinus (in 8 of 12; 66.7 per cent). All three patients treated by endoscopic sinus surgery experienced relapse and required further surgery. Maxillary sinus irrigation was effective for reduction of persistent symptoms such as postnasal discharge and crusts.
Ex-lepromatous leprosy patients with atrophic rhinitis had various rhino-sinus abnormalities and persistent symptoms. These patients had chronic rhinosinusitis because of underlying atrophic rhinitis. These patients required repeated otolaryngological observations together with combined surgery and conservative treatment.
A subjective feeling of nasal airflow obstruction is a common symptom. An objective method for quantitative measurement of nasal airflow has long been desired. Rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry have been developed for anatomical and physiological evaluation of nasal obstruction. This study was designed to determine the usefulness of a portable spirometer in assessing upper airway obstruction.
One hundred and ninety-six patients were assessed with nasal inspiratory spirometry to determine nasal airflow. All patients also underwent paranasal sinus computed tomography to determine anatomical abnormalities. Spirometry was performed on each nostril separately.
Sensitivity and specificity levels were high. This portable and easy to use device may be useful in respiratory assessment. Correlation between anatomical obstructions and subjects' complaints was statistically significant (p < 0.001), but no definite correlation between septal deviation severity and spirometric values was found.
Portable spirometry is an objective and useful method of evaluating nasal obstruction, but needs more investigation to establish a standardised test.
Frontal sinus involvement in aspergillosis associated with the nose and paranasal sinuses is a common occurrence, but the incidence of primary frontal sinus aspergillosis is rare, and there are few reports in the English literature.
This study aimed to evaluate the role of the endonasal endoscopic surgical approach for isolated primary frontal sinus aspergillosis.
This paper describes a retrospective study of 16 cases of primary frontal sinus aspergillosis. The patients had presented to the out-patient services of the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, between January 1999 and July 2011.
The overall success rate of the endonasal endoscopic approach was 82.25 per cent. The disease recurred in three patients and was subsequently managed using the modified Lothrop procedure.
Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic sinus surgery was found to be an effective and a safe approach for managing primary frontal sinus aspergilloma, even in cases with larger bony defects involving the posterior table of the frontal sinus.
Congenital lymphatic malformations are a challenging clinical problem. There is currently no universally accepted treatment for the management of microcystic disease. We describe the novel use of an existing technology (radiofrequency ablation, also termed Coblation) for the debulking of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations involving the upper aerodigestive tract.
Five children with microcystic or mixed-type lymphatic malformations were included in this retrospective case series.
Each child had a satisfactory outcome following radiofrequency debulking, with improved oral intake and airway symptoms. No serious complications were reported. These findings constitute level IV evidence.
We recommend radiofrequency ablation as a safe, viable alternative to existing techniques for the treatment of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations of the upper aerodigestive tract. Radiofrequency ablation achieves effective debulking of microcysts whilst avoiding excessive bleeding and thermal damage to surrounding tissues. This paper constitutes the first report of successful treatment of airway obstruction due to paediatric laryngopharyngeal microcystic disease, using radiofrequency ablation.
Few studies have prospectively investigated psychological morbidity in UK head and neck cancer patients. This study aimed to explore changes in psychological symptoms over time, and associations with patients' tumour and treatment characteristics, including toxicity.
Two hundred and twenty patients were recruited to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Late Effects on Normal Tissue (Subjective, Objective, Management and Analytic) (‘LENT-SOMA’) questionnaires, both pre- and post-treatment.
Anxiety was highest pre-treatment (38 per cent) and depressive symptoms peaked at the end of treatment (44 per cent). Anxiety significantly decreased and depression significantly increased, comparing pre- versus post-treatment responses (p < 0.001). Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores were significantly correlated with toxicity, age and chemotherapy (p < 0.01 for all).
This is the first study to analyse the relationship between Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores and toxicity scores in head and neck cancer patients. It lends support for the use of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Late Effects on Normal Tissue (Subjective, Objective, Management and Analytic) questionnaire in routine clinical practice; furthermore, continued surveillance is required at multiple measurement points.
Treatment options for large subglottic haemangioma include steroids, laser ablation, open excision, tracheostomy and, more recently, propranolol. This article aims to present the Great Ormond Street Hospital guidelines for using propranolol to treat infantile isolated subglottic haemangioma by ENT surgeons.
The vascular malformations multidisciplinary team at Great Ormond Street Hospital has developed guidelines for treating infantile haemangioma with propranolol.
The Great Ormond Street Hospital guidelines for propranolol treatment for infantile subglottic haemangioma include investigation, treatment and follow up. Propranolol is started at 1 mg/kg/day divided into three doses, increasing to 2 mg/kg/day one week later. On starting propranolol and when increasing the dose, the pulse rate and blood pressure must be checked every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. Lesion response to treatment is assessed via serial endoscopy.
Recent reports of dramatic responses to oral propranolol in children with haemangioma and acute airway obstruction have led to increased use. We advocate caution, and have developed guidelines (including pre-treatment investigation and monitoring) to improve treatment safety. Propranolol may in time prove to be the best medical treatment for subglottic haemangioma, but at present is considered to be still under evaluation.
To review the safety of thyroidectomy combined with cervical neck dissection without drainage, in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Materials and methods:
Two groups were defined depending on whether cervical neck dissection was or was not performed (groups one and two, respectively).
Group one included 153 patients with central neck dissection and 52 patients with central and lateral neck dissection. Group two included 121 patients. Post-operative drainage was not used in either group. Overall, 17 patients (5 per cent) developed post-operative haematoma and/or seroma: 12 patients (6 per cent) in group one and 5 patients (4 per cent) in group two. There were no major bleeding episodes; only minor bleeding or seroma was encountered, not requiring surgical intervention. Overall, 91 per cent of patients had a post-operative stay of 1 day. The number of peri-operative local complications and length of stay did not differ significantly between the two groups.
Thyroidectomy plus cervical neck dissection without drainage is safe and effective in the treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
The key to avoiding damage to the horizontal facial nerve in middle-ear surgery is to formally identify the nerve in the early stages of the procedure.
In the non-infected ear this can be achieved relatively easily by identifying the oval window niche. However, in the infected ear with cholesteatoma, the safest landmark to use is the processus cochleariformis, which can be identified by three different methods.
In an infected ear that is full of granulation tissue and/or cholesteatoma, the horizontal facial nerve can be reliably identified by locating the processus cochleariformis using the three methods described. This avoids damage to the nerve and important structures around it.
To describe two cases of profound hearing loss secondary to enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection, and to report the efficacy of subsequent cochlear implantation.
The first case was a four-year-old girl admitted to hospital with Escherichia coli O157 infection and haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Mild hearing loss was confirmed five months after discharge, progressing to profound loss three months later. At the age of seven years, she underwent cochlear implantation, with remarkable improvement in speech perception and production. The second case was a three-year-old boy admitted with haemolytic uraemic syndrome caused by Escherichia coli O111 infection. One year after disease onset, profound hearing loss was confirmed. Cochlear implantation at the age of five years produced significant recovery of auditory function.
This study represents the first published report of secondary hearing loss after recovery from haemolytic uraemic syndrome caused by enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli. It indicates that cochlear implantation can restore hearing function in such patients.
Vestibular nerve section is a highly effective procedure for the control of vertigo in patients with Ménière's disease. However, hearing loss is a possible complication. If hearing loss occurs after vestibular nerve section, magnetic resonance imaging should make it possible to establish the presence or absence of an intact cochlear nerve.
Case report and review of the world literature concerning cochlear implantation after vestibular nerve section.
We present a patient who developed subtotal hearing loss after vestibular nerve section. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to verify the presence of an intact cochlear nerve, enabling successful cochlear implantation.
To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of cochlear implantation carried out after selective vestibular nerve section. Given recent advances in cochlear implantation, this case indicates that it is essential to make every effort to spare the cochlear nerve if vestibular nerve section is required. If hearing loss occurs after vestibular nerve section, magnetic resonance imaging should be undertaken to establish whether the cochlear nerve is intact.
To describe a relatively unknown clinical entity – inflammatory cast of the tympanic membrane after acute otitis media – and its simple out-patient treatment.
Retrospective review of case series.
Subspecialty practice at a tertiary hospital.
Seven patients diagnosed previously with acute otitis media with perforation or otitis externa, and with persistent ear discomfort.
Retrospective chart review.
The patients presented with weeks to months of persistent hearing loss after acute otitis media with perforation or acute otitis externa. Visits to their primary care physicians had been uninformative. After comparison of the affected and unaffected tympanic membranes, a thin, hard cast was identified and removed from the affected tympanic membrane. Improvement in hearing was documented in the three patients who underwent audiometric testing; the remainder had subjective improvement without audiometric evaluation.
Otolaryngologists should be aware of the possibility of an inflammatory cast of the tympanic membrane following acute otitis media with perforation or otitis externa, and should carefully compare the unaffected and affected ears in such cases. Treatment – removal of the rigid cast – is both simple and effective.
This study reports a case of a sinonasal inverted papilloma with spread to the temporal bone via the eustachian tube and subsequent transformation to squamous cell carcinoma.
An 81-year-old woman presented with sinonasal inverted papilloma which subsequently spread to the ear. A literature review of inverted papilloma was carried out based on a Pubmed search of studies published between 1987 and 2011, using the key words ‘sinonasal inverted papilloma’, ‘temporal bone inverted papilloma’ and ‘squamous cell carcinoma’.
Results and conclusion:
Sinonasal and temporal bone inverted papillomas may sometimes be linked through direct spread via the eustachian tube. Inverted papillomas have the potential for malignant transformation; careful monitoring of both the nose and ear is therefore required for inverted papillomas found in the nasopharynx.