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This study sought to compare disease recidivism rates between canal wall up mastoidectomy and a canal wall down with obliteration technique.
Patients undergoing primary cholesteatoma surgery at our institution over a five-year period (2013–2017) using the aforementioned techniques were eligible for inclusion in the study. Rates of discharge and disease recidivism were analysed using chi-square statistics.
A total of 104 ears (98 patients) were included. The mean follow-up period was 30 months (range, 12–52 months). A canal wall down with mastoid obliteration technique was performed in 55 cases and a canal wall up approach was performed in 49 cases. Disease recidivism rates were 7.3 per cent and 16.3 per cent in the canal wall down with mastoid obliteration and canal wall up groups respectively (p = 0.02), whilst discharge rates were similar (7.3 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively).
Our direct comparative data suggest that canal wall down mastoidectomy with obliteration is superior to a canal wall up technique in primary cholesteatoma surgery, providing a lower recidivism rate combined with a low post-operative ear discharge rate.
Detection and valid measurements of distortion product otoacoustic emissions are not influenced by cochlear status alone, but also by middle-ear status. There is a need to understand the use of ultra-high frequency distortion product otoacoustic emissions in cases of abnormal distortion product otoacoustic emission findings for conventional frequencies related to the middle-ear condition.
The present study investigated distortion product otoacoustic emission input–output functions in conventional and ultra-high frequencies in: 37 adults with chronic suppurative otitis media (clinical group) and 37 adults with normal hearing sensitivity (control group).
There were significant reductions in distortion product otoacoustic emission amplitude and mean signal-to-noise ratio in the clinical group compared to the control group, especially for conventional frequencies.
There was a significant reduction in the rate of ears with measurable distortion product otoacoustic emissions in the clinical group, especially for conventional frequencies. The effect of chronic suppurative otitis media was more pronounced in the conventional frequency range compared to the smaller effect seen in the ultra-high frequency range.
This case report presents a middle-ear osteoma mimicking otosclerosis that was located at the promontory. The osteoma was successfully excised using an endoscopic transcanal approach without any complication.
A 21-year-old man presented with a 4-year history of progressive conductive hearing loss (47 dB with a 30-dB air–bone gap) with intermittent tinnitus of recent onset in his right ear. Endoscopic transcanal middle-ear exploration showed that an osteoma located on the promontory was restricting the mobility of the stapes by affecting the anterior crus of the stapes. After transcanal resection of the osteoma, pure tone audiometry improved to 23 dB with a 5-dB air–bone gap. Tinnitus resolved spontaneously without any additional treatment.
Promontory osteomas, a rare and usually asymptomatic clinical entity, should be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosis in patients with progressive conductive hearing loss and tinnitus with intact stapedial reflexes and normal otoscopic findings.
To assess the effect of topical betahistine on Eustachian tube function in subjectively abnormal subjects in a hyperbaric chamber.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was examined using tympanometry in a pressure chamber.
Active Eustachian tube function was tested against the negative middle ear pressure induced by increasing the chamber pressure to +3 kPa. One voluntary swallow decreased middle-ear pressure by a mean of 1.36 kPa. Passive Eustachian tube function was tested by measuring spontaneous Eustachian tube openings as the chamber pressure dropped from +10 kPa to ambient. Four distinct patterns of Eustachian tube behaviour were seen, three of which indicated Eustachian tube dysfunction. Betahistine had no positive effect on Eustachian tube opening, although previous animal studies had suggested a beneficial effect.
Topical betahistine had no effect on Eustachian tube function. Combining a hyperbaric chamber with tympanometry proved ideal for evaluating Eustachian tube function.
In order to remove a cholesteatoma in the mastoid under transcanal endoscopic ear surgery, it is necessary to perform transcanal endoscopic mastoidectomy. Bone dust and blood, however, obscure the surgical field. A novel endoscopic hydro-mastoidectomy technique was developed, in which the operator performs the mastoidectomy ‘underwater’ using a lens cleaning system that provides saline perfusion in the surgical space.
A curved round coarse diamond bur is attached to an otological drill. A lens cleaning sheath is fitted to the endoscope. The surgeon controls the infusion of saline solution by stepping on a footswitch of the power console.
Endoscopic hydro-mastoidectomy washes out bone dust and blood from the surgical field, improving the surgical view during mastoidectomy. Additionally, the operator can easily control the flow of saline perfusion.
This technique provides a clear surgical view by washing out bone dust and blood from the surgical area. The setup for endoscopic hydro-mastoidectomy technique is easy and the operator needs only to buy sheaths if they already own the power console, as many otological and rhinological surgeons do.
To recount experience with cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea and temporal bone meningoencephalocele repair in a tertiary care hospital.
A retrospective review was conducted of 16 cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea and meningoencephalic herniation patients managed surgically from 1991 to 2016.
Aetiology was: congenital (n = 3), post-traumatic (n = 2), spontaneous (n = 1) or post-mastoidectomy (n = 10). Surgical repair was undertaken by combined middle cranial fossa and transmastoid approach in 3 patients, transmastoid approach in 2, oval window plugging in 1, and subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration in 10. All patients had successful long-term outcomes, except one, who experienced recurrence after primary stage oval window plugging, but has been recurrence-free after second-stage subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration.
Dural injury or exposure in mastoidectomy may lead to cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea or meningoencephalic herniation years later. Congenital, spontaneous and traumatic temporal bone defects may present similarly. Middle cranial fossa dural repair, transmastoid multilayer closure and subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration were successful procedures. Subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration offers advantages over middle cranial fossa dural repair alone; soft tissue closure is more robust and is preferred in situations where hearing preservation is not a priority.
Surgery for chronic suppurative otitis media performed in low- and middle-income countries creates specific challenges. This paper describes the equipment and a variety of techniques that we find best suited to these conditions. These have been used over many years in remote areas of Nepal.
Results and conclusion
Extensive chronic suppurative otitis media is frequently encountered, with limited pre-operative investigation or treatment possible. Techniques learnt in better-resourced settings with good follow up need to be modified. The paper describes surgical methods suitable for resource-poor conditions, with rationales. These include methods of tympanoplasty for subtotal wet perforations, hearing reconstruction in wet ears and open cavities, large aural polyps, and canal wall down mastoidectomy with cavity obliteration. Various types of autologous ossiculoplasty are described in detail for use in the absence of prostheses. The following topics are discussed: decision-making for surgery on wet or best hearing ears, children, bilateral surgery, working with local anaesthesia, and obtaining adequate consent in this environment.
To investigate the evidence for balloon dilatation of the eustachian tube using a transtympanic approach.
A systematic search of several databases was conducted (using the search terms ‘dilation’ or ‘dilatation’, and ‘balloon’ and ‘eustachian tube’). Only studies that used a transtympanic approach for the procedure were included. These studies were then assessed for risk of bias.
Three studies were included. Each of these studies was a limited case series, with two performed on human subjects and one on human cadavers. Results of safety and efficacy are conflicting. There is a high risk of bias overall.
At present, there is a very narrow evidence base for transtympanic balloon dilatation of the eustachian tube. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of the technique. Previously identified and theoretical safety concerns will need to be addressed thoroughly in future studies prior to wider clinical use.
A systematic review was performed to evaluate the role and effectiveness of head bandages after routine elective middle-ear surgery.
Studies that compared the effectiveness of head bandage use after elective middle-ear surgery (e.g. myringoplasty, mastoidectomy and cochlear implantation) were identified using the following databases: Ovid Medline and Embase, the Ebsco collections, the Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Google Scholar. An initial search identified 71 articles. All titles and abstracts were reviewed. Thirteen relevant articles were inspected in more detail; of these, only five met the inclusion criteria. These included three randomised, controlled trials, one retrospective case series and one literature review.
The three randomised, controlled trials (level of evidence 1b) showed no statistically significant differences in post-operative outcomes (in terms of complications) associated with head bandage use in middle-ear surgery. This finding was supported by the retrospective case series involving patients undergoing cochlear implantation.
Current available evidence shows no advantage of head bandage use after middle-ear surgery. Head bandages may not be required after routine, uncomplicated middle-ear surgery.
To compare the hearing results and graft take rates of the recently developed gold wire prosthesis with those of the hydroxyapatite partial ossicular replacement prosthesis in patients with chronic otitis media.
This retrospective study examined patients who underwent type 2 tympanoplasty with a minimum follow up of one year. The study population consisted of 32 patients in the partial ossicular replacement prosthesis group and 26 patients in the gold wire group. The main outcome measures were the graft success rate and level of hearing improvement. Complications and extrusion rates were also noted.
The graft take rate was 90.6 per cent for the partial ossicular replacement prosthesis group and 92.3 per cent for the gold wire group (p = 0.848). Pre-operatively, there were no significant differences in the air or bone-conduction thresholds between groups. Post-operatively, the mean hearing gain was 18.5 ± 14.0 dB in the partial ossicular replacement prosthesis group and 16.5 ± 10.6 dB in the gold wire group (p = 0.555). The mean air-conduction thresholds were 26.6 ± 12.4 and 32.6 ± 10.5 dB, respectively (p = 0.027), and the mean bone-conduction thresholds were 9.7 ± 7.0 and 10.4 ± 6.4 dB, respectively (p = 0.687).
The success and complication rates provided by the gold wire prosthesis seem comparable to those of the hydroxyapatite partial ossicular replacement prosthesis.
To develop an autologous total ossicular replacement prosthesis with sustainable hearing results.
The ears of 40 patients, who had chronic otitis media with absent suprastructure of the stapes and long process of the incus, were repaired using the autologous total ossicular replacement technique. Post-operative results were evaluated after 6 and 12 months on the basis of average pure tone air conduction and average air–bone gap measured at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 kHz.
Successful rehabilitation of pure tone average to 30 dB or less was achieved in 75 per cent of patients, and air–bone gap to 20 dB or less was attained in 82.5 per cent of patients. Overall mean improvement in air–bone gap was 23.9 ± 8.5 dB (p < 0.001). Mean improvements in air–bone gap were significantly greater (p < 0.05) in the tympanoplasty only group (27.3 ± 6.6 dB) and the intact canal wall tympanoplasty group (25.9 ± 6.3 dB) than in the canal wall down tympanoplasty group (16.3 ± 8.9 dB).
This paper describes an autologous total ossicular replacement prosthesis that is biocompatible, stable, magnetic resonance imaging compatible and, above all, results in sustainable hearing improvement.
Adhesion formation is a frequent and serious post-operative problem in ENT surgery. This study assessed the effect of two anti-adhesive haemostatic agents on an experimental guinea pig model.
Materials and methods:
The middle-ear mucosa of 14 guinea pigs was exposed to surgical trauma. After surgery, Arista™ AH was injected into the right middle ear of seven animals, while Ankaferd Blood Stopper was injected into the right middle ear of the other seven animals. The left ears were left untreated and regarded as the control group. The three groups were compared by histological examination at post-operative week 4.
In each of the three groups, consolidation of the lamina propria and epithelium mucosae, increments in the number of active fibroblasts, collagen fibrils and inflammatory cells, and increased vascular dilation were observed on haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections, and were more prominent in the control and Ankaferd Blood Stopper groups. Epithelial thickness and capillary vasodilation were significantly lower in the Arista™ AH group compared with the control and Ankaferd Blood Stopper groups (p < 0.008).
Arista™ AH may prevent the formation of adhesions in middle-ear surgery. Further experimental studies are required to determine its ototoxic potential.
Otic barotrauma is common among air travellers and can cause severe otalgia, perforation of the tympanic membrane and hearing loss. Many prevention measures exist, with varying evidence to support their use. There are no data to establish if air travellers are aware of them or indeed use them. We aimed to establish air travellers' knowledge of such prevention measures.
We surveyed air travellers at two UK airports by means of a questionnaire. Answers to the questionnaire were collected over a two-week period.
Overall, 179 air travellers with a mean age of 28 years (range: 15–72 years) completed the questionnaire. There were 66 female and 113 male air travellers. The majority (84 per cent) complained of symptoms while flying and 30 per cent were not aware of any prevention measures. Barotrauma-related symptoms were reported in 25 per cent of air travellers who were unaware of any prevention measures. Nearly all air travellers (86 per cent) indicated that more information regarding prevention measures would be useful.
Air travellers are often not aware of prevention measures to avoid otic barotrauma, and the majority suffer as a result. Increasing public awareness of simple prevention measures would have a significant impact on air travellers.
There is currently a lack of robust evidence on the best form of packing for otological surgery. We describe the use of the absorbable gelatin sponge, a packing material that does not require removal and has the benefit of being considerably cheaper compared to other common forms of ear packing.
A comparison was made of the financial cost of several forms of packing for common otological procedures. In addition, a retrospective audit of complications was undertaken of all patients in whom the absorbable gelatin sponge was used over the past three years.
The absorbable gelatin sponge was shown to be cheaper to purchase per unit and also more economical to use. It has been the exclusive form of packing used in 519 procedures over the past three years at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford (UK), with very few complications noted at the follow-up review.
We strongly advocate using the absorbable gelatin sponge, a packing material that is kinder to the patient, has similar efficacy to other forms of packing and is also much cheaper to use compared to other common forms of packing.
Hyperpneumatisation of the skull base and upper cervical vertebrae is a very rare condition of uncertain aetiology and pathophysiology.
A case of extensive hyperpneumatisation of the craniocervical junction and upper three cervical vertebrae is described, in a patient who habitually performed the Valsalva manoeuvre to relieve the symptoms of a patulous eustachian tube. Reported symptoms of ear, neck and shoulder pain deteriorated after minor head trauma. There was a drastic radiological and clinical improvement after ceasing to perform the Valsalva manoeuvre.
All reported cases of craniocervical bone hyperpneumatisation have in common a history of raised middle-ear pressure, minor trauma or both. We therefore suggest that chronically raised middle-ear pressure leads to destruction of bony tissue and pneumatisation, and that this process is able to cross joints into the cervical spine, either via micro-fractures following trauma, or as a result of congenital assimilation of the craniocervical junction.
Anomalies of the stapedius tendon have been reported to cause conductive hearing loss; in theory, such anomalies limit the movement of the stapes.
To demonstrate a rare cause of conductive hearing loss resulting from anomaly of the stapedius tendon and to compare the clinical findings of this patient to other stapedius tendon anomalies reported in the literature.
Case report of a single case of shortened stapedius tendon and a review of the English literature on stapedius tendon anomalies.
This is a case report of a 15-year-old boy with shortened stapedius tendon causing unilateral hearing loss, accompanied by a review of the literature. Contrary to other reported cases, this patient did not have an ossified tendon, but rather an extremely short tendon. The boy regained normal hearing following excision of the stapedius tendon.
A shortened stapedius tendon is a very rare diagnosis, yet it should be considered as a possible cause of conductive hearing loss.
This systematic review aims to advise on the effectiveness of the active middle-ear implant in patients with sensorineural hearing loss, compared with external hearing aids.
A systematic search of several electronic databases, including PubMed and Embase, was used to identify relevant studies for inclusion.
Fourteen comparative studies were included. Nine studies reported on the primary outcome of functional gain: one found that the middle-ear implant was significantly better than external hearing aids (p < 0.001), while another found that external hearing aids were generally significantly better than middle-ear implants (p < 0.05). Six of the seven remaining studies found that middle-ear implants were better than external hearing aids, although generally no clinically significant difference (i.e. ≥10 dB) was seen.
Generally, the active middle-ear implant appears to be as effective as the external hearing aid in improving hearing outcomes in patients with sensorineural hearing loss.
To present the first case of middle-ear actinomycosis in the UK in the last 60 years. The diagnosis and management of actinomycosis of the middle ear is also presented, as well as a review of the recent literature.
This paper reports the case of a nine-year-old girl who presented with recurrent otorrhoea caused by actinomycosis. Mastoid exploration with clearance of the infected tissue, in conjunction with six months amoxicillin, resulted in long-term disease remission. Histology revealed Gram-positive, silver avid (on Grocott staining) and diastase-resistant periodic acid-Schiff negative staining of colonies; this profile was in keeping with the characteristic ‘sulphur granules’ of actinomycosis.
Actinomycosis of the middle ear and mastoid is rare, with less than 45 cases presented in the worldwide literature. This case confirms that the disease should be treated with full surgical clearance and long-term antibiotics.
This study aimed to investigate the computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging findings of primary middle-ear carcinoma.
In this retrospective study of 13 patients with primary middle-ear carcinoma, we collected pre- and post-contrast magnetic resonance images for all 13 cases, high-resolution computed tomography scans for 11 cases, and conventional computed tomography scans with contrast for 2 cases.
Soft-tissue masses were mainly located in the tympanum, tympanic sinus and deep within the external auditory canal, and involved the jugular fossa (9 of 13 patients), middle cranial fossa (5/13), parotid gland (2/13) and temporomandibular joint fossa (1/13). An irregular, ‘moth-eaten’ bone destruction pattern was seen on high-resolution computed tomography images, most commonly in the eustachian tube (9/13), jugular foramen (9/13) and facial nerve canal (7/13). On non-contrast magnetic resonances images, masses were isointense or slightly hypointense on T1-weighted images, and isointense or slightly hyperintense on T2-weighted images. On post-contrast images, lesions were moderately and homogeneously enhanced in seven cases and inhomogeneously enhanced in six.
High-resolution computed tomography precisely detects regions of bone destruction, whereas MRI can better assess soft-tissue tumour margins, intracranial extension and vessel patency. Eustachian tube erosion is an important characteristic of primary middle-ear carcinoma.