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Hypocalcaemia is the most common complication after total or completion thyroidectomy. This study assesses recent evidence on predictive factors for post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia in order to identify the patients affected and aid prevention.
Two authors independently assessed articles and extracted data to provide a narrative synthesis. This study was an updated systematic search and narrative review regarding predictors of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia using the Ovid Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Cinahl databases. Results were limited to papers published from January 2012 to August 2019.
Sixty-three observational studies with a total of 210 401 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median incidence was 27.5 per cent for transient biochemical hypocalcaemia, 12.5 per cent for symptomatic hypocalcaemia and 2.2 per cent for permanent hypocalcaemia. The most frequent statistically significant predictor of hypocalcaemia was peri-operative parathyroid hormone level. Symptomatic hypocalcaemia and permanent hypocalcaemia were seen more frequently in patients undergoing concomitant neck dissection.
Many factors have been studied for their link to post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia, and this study assesses the recent evidence presented in each case.
Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty is a surgical management option for Eustachian tube dysfunction; it has shown promising results in studies worldwide, but has had limited uptake in the UK. This study reports long-term outcomes for patients offered balloon Eustachian tuboplasty for chronic dilatory and baro-challenge-induced Eustachian tube dysfunction, and describes practical experience gained from its implementation.
Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty was conducted in 25 patients (36 ears) with Eustachian tube dysfunction over three years. Information on presenting symptoms and signs, audiometric findings, tympanometry, and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire-7 scores were recorded pre- and post-operatively with a minimum follow up of one year.
Sixteen (64 per cent) of the 25 patients demonstrated symptom resolution after balloon Eustachian tuboplasty according to the Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire-7. Fourteen (64 per cent) of the 22 patients with a type B or C tympanogram pre-operatively, had a type A trace post-operatively. Fifteen (75 per cent) of 20 patients with pre-operative conductive hearing loss showed improvement post-operatively, and 11 (50 per cent) of 22 patients with pre-operative middle-ear effusion or tympanic membrane retraction showed resolution.
Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty can improve subjective and objective measures of Eustachian tube dysfunction, and provide longer-term resolution.
Tracheoesophageal puncture represents the ‘gold standard’ for voice restoration following laryngectomy. Tracheoesophageal puncture can be undertaken primarily during laryngectomy or in a separate secondary procedure. There is no current consensus on which approach is superior. The current evidence comparing primary and secondary tracheoesophageal puncture was assessed.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of articles comparing outcomes for primary and secondary tracheoesophageal puncture after laryngectomy were conducted. Outcome measures were: voice success, overall complication rate and pharyngocutaneous fistula rate.
Eleven case series met the inclusion criteria, two prospective and nine retrospective. Meta-analysis did not demonstrate statistically significant differences in overall complication rate or voice outcomes, though it suggested a significantly increased risk of pharyngocutaneous fistula in primary compared to secondary tracheoesophageal puncture.
Primary tracheoesophageal puncture is a safe and efficient approach for voice rehabilitation. However, secondary tracheoesophageal puncture should be preferred where there is a higher risk of pharyngocutaneous fistula.
Intranasal steroid sprays are fundamental in the medical management of inflammatory rhinological conditions. Side effects are common, but these may be related to the method of application rather than the medication itself.
A survey was distributed to patients using intranasal steroid sprays at the ENT out-patient clinic at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary over three months. This evaluated the spray technique used, side effects and compliance.
Of 103 patients, 22 patients (21.4 per cent) reported side effects, including nasal irritation and epistaxis. Of the 20 patients with epistaxis, 80 per cent used an ipsilateral hand technique (p = 0.01). Thirty patients demonstrated poor compliance because of lack of symptom improvement or side effects. Seventy-seven per cent of this group used the ipsilateral hand technique.
Patients who used their ipsilateral hand to apply the intranasal steroid spray were more likely to develop epistaxis and have poor compliance than those who used other techniques. Patients who struggle with compliance because of side effects should avoid this method of intranasal steroid application.
Although other blood dyscrasias are known to cause sudden sensorineural hearing loss, macrocytosis has not previously been implicated in the absence of another causative agent.
We present a case of bilateral sequential sudden sensorineural hearing loss in a patient with significant macrocytosis (mean corpuscular volume at presentation 124 fl) secondary to alcohol-induced liver dysfunction.
A possible pathophysiological mechanism linking macrocytosis and sudden sensorineural hearing loss was identified, suggesting areas for further investigation.
It is common practice to use head bandages for 7–10 days following pinnaplasty. However, head bandages are often troublesome for patients and can lead to serious complications.
A systematic review was performed to evaluate the use of head bandages after pinnaplasty. A search of Medline, Embase (Ovid) and CINAHL (EBSCO collections), the Cochrane Library, Pubmed (US National Library of Medicine) and Google Scholar identified 34 related articles. Of these, 14 were deemed relevant and 2 randomised controlled trials, 1 cohort study, 3 case series and 1 literature review met the inclusion criteria.
The two randomised controlled trials show no statistically significant difference in complications when a head bandage was used for the standard 7–10 days, for 24 hours or not at all. The three case series show that using a head bandage for 24 hours or not at all are safe alternatives. The review article recommended that when head bandages are applied after pinnaplasty it should be for the shortest duration possible.
Based on the available evidence, not using a head bandage at all or using one for a maximum of 24 hours following pinnaplasty is recommended.