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To examine when cochlear fibrosis occurs following a translabyrinthine approach for vestibular schwannoma resection, and to determine the safest time window for potential cochlear implantation in cases with a preserved cochlear nerve.
This study retrospectively reviewed the post-operative magnetic resonance imaging scans of patients undergoing a translabyrinthine approach for vestibular schwannoma resection, assessing the fluid signal within the cochlea. Cochleae were graded based on the Isaacson et al. system (from grade 0 – no obstruction, to grade 4 – complete obliteration).
Thirty-nine patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The cochleae showed no evidence of obliteration in: 75 per cent of patients at six months, 38.5 per cent at one year and 27 per cent beyond one year. Most changes happened between 6 and 12 months after vestibular schwannoma resection, with cases of an unobstructed cochlear decreasing dramatically, from 75 per cent to 38.5 per cent, within this time.
The progress of cochlear obliteration that occurred between 6 and 12 months following vestibular schwannoma resection indicates that the first 6 months provides a safer time window for cochlear patency.
In Scotland, patients with suspected head and neck cancer are referred on the basis of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer, rather than the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. A chest X-ray should be requested by the general practitioner at the same time as referral for persistent hoarseness. The evidence for this is level 4.
This audit identified adherence to this recommendation and X-ray results. All ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ referrals to the ENT department in the National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde for 2015–2016 were audited.
Persistent hoarseness for more than 3 weeks instigated referral in 318 patients (15.7 per cent). Chest X-ray was performed in 120 patients (38 per cent), which showed: no abnormality in 116 (96.7 per cent), features of infection in 2 (1.7 per cent) and something else in 2 patients (1.7 per cent). No chest X-ray altered the management of a patient.
Performance of chest X-ray does not alter management and its removal from the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer is recommended.
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