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Antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and clopidogrel are increasingly encountered in clinical practice. Otorhinolaryngological surgeons are involved in the peri-operative decision of whether to continue treatment and risk haemorrhage or to discontinue treatment and risk thrombosis.
Literature relating to the risk of spontaneous or operative haemorrhage was reviewed. The morbidity and mortality associated with cessation of agents was evaluated. Published guidelines were also evaluated. A protocol for the management of antiplatelet agents in the peri-operative period, with particular reference to ENT operations, is presented.
Significant morbidity and mortality is associated with the premature cessation of antiplatelet agents. Data from cardiac surgery suggest that operative blood loss only marginally increases in patients on aspirin and clopidogrel. However, the management of antiplatelet agents in the peri-operative period should be made after multidisciplinary consultation.
Acute hearing loss is a distressing albeit rare occurrence in pregnancy. Due to its infrequent presentation, little is known of its cause, and the best management is unclear.
To present a summary of current knowledge regarding sudden hearing loss in pregnancy and its management, by reviewing the published literature.
The following electronic databases: PubMed (MEDLINE), Ovid (MEDLINE), all EBM Reviews (Cochrane DSR, ACP Journal Club, DARE and CCTR) and Embase; plus a hand search of reference lists of retrieved papers.
Study selection and data extraction:
All papers retrieved using key word searches for ‘sudden hearing loss and pregnancy’ and ‘sudden deafness and pregnancy’ were reviewed. Due to the scarcity of literature, all studies identified were included in this review.
Data synthesis and conclusions:
All retrieved papers were reviewed. Sudden hearing loss is a rare occurrence during pregnancy, leading to a dearth of literature due to limited clinical experience. Audiological investigation findings for such patients remain equivocal. Recovery can be spontaneous during the postpartum period. In patients who require medical treatment, a dextran 40 infusion can be employed. There remains scope for further research, in the form of larger studies, to ascertain the best management option for this clinical problem.
Despite longstanding concern, provision of undergraduate ENT teaching has not improved in response to the aims of the UK General Medical Council's initiative Tomorrow's Doctors. Previous studies have demonstrated poor representation of ENT within the undergraduate curriculum. We aimed to identify current practice in order to establish undergraduate ENT experience across UK medical schools, a timely endeavour in light of the General Medical Council's new 2011–2013 education strategy.
Questionnaires were sent to ENT consultants, medical school deans and students. All schools with a clinical curriculum were anonymously represented. Our outcome measures were the provision of mandatory or optional ENT placements, and their duration and content.
A compulsory ENT placement was available to over half (53 per cent) of the students. Ten of the 26 participating schools did not offer an ENT attachment. The mean mandatory placement was 8 days. Overall, 38 per cent of students reported a satisfactory compulsory ENT placement. Most ENT consultants questioned considered that newly qualified doctors were not proficient in managing common ENT problems that did not require specialist referral.
Little improvement in the provision of undergraduate ENT teaching was demonstrated. An increase in the proportion of students undertaking ENT training is necessary. Time and curriculum constraints on medical schools mean that optimisation of available resources is required.
The Bluetooth wireless headset has been promoted as a ‘hands-free’ device with a low emission of electromagnetic radiation.
To evaluate potential changes in hearing function as a consequence of using Bluetooth devices, by assessing changes in pure tone audiography and distortion production otoacoustic emissions.
Materials and methods:
Thirty adult volunteers were exposed to a Bluetooth headset device (1) on ‘standby’ setting for 6 hours and (2) at full power for 10 minutes. Post-exposure hearing was evaluated using pure tone audiography and distortion production otoacoustic emission testing.
There were no statistically significant changes in hearing, as measured above, following either exposure type.
Exposure to the electromagnetic field emitted by a Bluetooth headset, as described above, did not decrease hearing thresholds or alter distortion product otoacoustic emissions.
To review the genotype and cochlear implantation outcome of patients with nonsyndromic hearing loss and enlarged vestibular aqueduct.
Twenty-one Chinese children with nonsyndromic hearing loss and enlarged vestibular aqueduct underwent genetic examination. A DNA microarray was used to screen for the IVS7-2A>G and H723R mutations. Any DNA samples with one or none of the two mutant alleles were sequenced to detect other mutations in the SLC26A4 and FOXI1 genes.
Twelve SLC26A4 mutations were detected, including three novel mutations. The most common mutations detected were IVS7-2A>G and H723R. Twelve patients received cochlear implants, and subsequently demonstrated excellent speech perception.
Three novel mutations were detected in Chinese patients with nonsyndromic hearing loss and enlarged vestibular aqueduct. The SLC26A4 mutation spectrum in the Chinese population is similar to that in other East Asian populations. Cochlear implantation is a safe and effective treatment in patients with enlarged vestibular aqueduct.
To determine the effect of the Meniett® low-pressure generator on the subjective symptoms and audiovestibular disease markers of patients with unilateral Menière's disease unresponsive to betahistine treatment.
Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, clinical trial at a tertiary referral centre. After ventilation tube placement, patients were randomised to the active treatment or placebo group. Monitoring comprised audiometry and air caloric testing and a vertigo diary (enabling calculation of vertigo and activity scores, and the number of vertigo days, vertigo-free days and sick days).
Sixty-eight patients completed the study. For the active treatment versus placebo group, the following pre- and post-treatment values, and significances for treatment effect comparisons, were respectively seen: cumulative vertigo scores, 22.47 and 15.97 vs 20.42 and 19.23 (p = 0.048); vertigo days, 6.5 and 4.08 vs 5.94 and 5.52 (p = 0.102); sick days, 3.08 and 0.78 vs 2.87 and 3.45 (p = 0.041); vertigo-free days, 14.47 and 17.61 vs 15.48 and 17.58 (p = 0.362); activity score, 23.61 and 13.42 vs 24.68 and 20.23 (p = 0.078); low-tone hearing threshold, 49.15 and 53.18 dB nHL vs 41.66 and 46.10 dB nHL (p > 0.05); and slow phase velocity in response to caloric stimulation, 18.86 and 18.72 °/second vs 14.97 and 15.95 °/second, (p > 0.05).
Use of the Meniett® low-pressure generator improved patients' vertigo but not their hearing or vestibular function. This safe, minimally invasive treatment is recommended as second-line treatment for unilateral Menière's disease.
To evaluate the efficacy of the Santiago treatment protocol for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal, to analyse recurrence and to establish prognostic factors.
Material and methods:
Four hundred and twelve patients with unilateral benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal were treated with the Semont manoeuvre and, if symptoms did not resolve, successive application of three Epley manoeuvres plus Brandt–Daroff exercises.
Symptoms resolved in 404 patients (98.1 per cent); a single Semont manoeuvre was sufficient in 334 (81.2 per cent). Aetiology had no impact on resolution of symptoms or number of manoeuvres required. The estimated likelihood of recurrence was 14 per cent in the first year and 27 per cent after 10 years. The only factor indicating a worse prognosis was recurrence.
In unilateral benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal, the above treatment protocol cured 98 per cent of patients. More than half of recurrences occurred in the first year. None of the analysed factors increased the likelihood of recurrence.
Numerous studies have considered the benefits, and the disadvantages, of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Following an extensive literature review, we found that the evidence was inconclusive as regards the diagnostic efficacy of Epworth scoring for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. We undertook a retrospective study of 343 patients who underwent a sleep assessment over a 10-year period at the Monklands Hospital.
Analysis and results:
A total of 238 patients did not have sleep apnoea whereas 105 patients did. The mean Epworth score in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome was 10.94 (95 per cent confidence interval 9.46–11.42), and in the non-apnoeic group it was 7.73 (95 per cent confidence interval 7.04–8.41). Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the predictive ability of Epworth scoring. The scores only explained 7–10 per cent of the variation in the probability of occurrence of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. The odds ratio for Epworth scoring was 1.118, and only 69 per cent of cases were correctly classified by the Scale.
The literature review suggested that the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is associated with a low effect size and/or low predictive value when correlated or regressed on the Apnoea–Hypopnoea Index or Respiratory Disturbance Index, thus limiting its value as a screening test. Our study concluded that the Epworth Scale is only marginally useful in predicting the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. We believe that every patient with a direct or witnessed history of sleep apnoea with obstructive symptoms have some form of sleep assessment.
To compare the effects of routine nasal packing with polyvinyl acetal sponge (Merocel) versus no packing, after endoscopic sinus surgery for nasal polyposis.
Subjects and methods:
This clinical, randomised, controlled trial was performed in an academic tertiary referral centre between 2008 and 2011. Sixty patients with resistant nasal polyposis underwent endoscopic sinus surgery, and were then randomly divided into two groups: packed and non-packed. The amount of bleeding and pain in each group during pack removal was documented.
There was no significant difference between the two groups in the outcome of surgery and complications. One patient in each group needed extra packing. In the packed group, the mean ± standard deviation pain score on pack removal was 61 ± 3 (using a visual analogue scale in which 0 = no pain and 100 = worst pain imaginable).
This study found no significant difference between polyvinyl acetal packed and non-packed groups, following endoscopic sinus surgery for nasal polyposis. This confirms the findings of similar studies, and supports the reconsideration of routine post-operative packing in selected cases.
Supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy is an organ-preserving procedure used to treat laryngeal cancer. However, the post-operative neoglottis tends to be variable in form and difficult to predict.
We retrospectively analysed three-dimensional images reconstructed from multidetector-row computed tomography data for 21 patients, assessing arytenoid motion and minimum neoglottic gap cross-sectional area.
While mean transverse and coronal motion was similar for bilateral and unilateral arytenoids, movement along the sagittal axis was greater for unilateral than bilateral arytenoids. The neoglottic gap during respiration was wider in patients with bilateral arytenoids, but both groups had a similar neoglottic gap during phonation.
Anterior shifting of the unilateral arytenoid plays an important role in compensating for the inability to achieve neoglottic closure. These two results demonstrate that the unilateral arytenoid alone is capable of achieving sufficient neoglottic narrowing to compensate for the resected arytenoid. Three-dimensional analysis was useful to evaluate the physiological status of the neoglottis after supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy.
Intramuscular haemangiomas of the digastric muscle are often misdiagnosed due to their low incidence and non-specific manifestation. Only two out of six previously reported cases were diagnosed correctly before excision. Ultrasound may not reveal their vascularity, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy is unhelpful as it reveals only blood.
A case of intramuscular haemangioma of the posterior belly of the digastric muscle is described. Previously reported cases are reviewed. Investigations used to diagnose the lesions and reasons for their common failure are discussed.
Core-needle biopsy led to the correct histological diagnosis, and magnetic resonance imaging precisely located the lesion within the digastric muscle.
Core-needle biopsy was safely used in the diagnosis of an intramuscular haemangioma. The combination of core-needle biopsy and meticulous review of magnetic resonance imaging enables accurate diagnosis pre-operatively.
(1) To investigate the efficacy of a computer-generated three-dimensional laryngeal model for laryngeal anatomy teaching; (2) to explore the relationship between students' spatial ability and acquisition of anatomical knowledge; and (3) to assess participants' opinion of the computerised model.
Subjects and methods:
Forty junior doctors were randomised to undertake laryngeal anatomy study supplemented by either a three-dimensional computer model or two-dimensional images. Outcome measurements comprised a laryngeal anatomy test, the modified Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotation test, and an opinion survey.
Mean scores ± standard deviations for the anatomy test were 15.7 ± 2.0 for the ‘three dimensions’ group and 15.5 ± 2.3 for the ‘standard’ group (p = 0.7222). Pearson's correlation between the rotation test scores and the scores for the spatial ability questions in the anatomy test was 0.4791 (p = 0.086, n = 29). Opinion survey answers revealed significant differences in respondents' perceptions of the clarity and ‘user friendliness’ of, and their preferences for, the three-dimensional model as regards anatomical study.
The three-dimensional computer model was equivalent to standard two-dimensional images, for the purpose of laryngeal anatomy teaching. There was no association between students' spatial ability and functional anatomy learning. However, students preferred to use the three-dimensional model.
The aim of this study was to develop an educational website (www.enttheatre.com) that showed common ENT operations and emergencies, in order to help improve the basic surgical ENT knowledge of medical students and junior doctors. A two-round Delphi survey was conducted to establish the contents of the website. ‘Experts’ who participated in the Delphi process included otolaryngology consultants and trainees, junior doctors, general practitioners, and medical students. First- and second-round Delphi response rates were 49 per cent (61/125) and 92 per cent (56/61), respectively. Our paper presents a consensus opinion on what basic surgical knowledge a medical student or junior doctor should be familiar with in otolaryngology.
Endoscopic hypopharyngeal diverticulotomy is now largely performed using an endoscopic stapling device. A poorly applied endoscopic stapling device can result in incomplete division of the cricopharyngeal bar, necessitating the application of a second set of staples. Applying more than one set of staples is associated with an increased risk of complications and greater cost. Small pharyngeal pouches are difficult to staple because of difficulties engaging the stapling device over the cricopharyngeal bar.
Two pairs of oesophageal forceps are used in conjunction with a 0 degree Hopkins rod to optimise the endoscopic stapling of small and large pharyngeal pouches.
Results and conclusion:
Applying grasping forceps to the cricopharyngeal bar improves the accuracy of the stapling procedure, thus reducing the morbidity and cost associated with multiple staple applications.
Pulsatile tinnitus usually originates from vascular structures, causing an arterial or venous bruit. We report a new cause of pulsatile tinnitus: a focal defect of the mastoid bone shell in the region of the transverse-sigmoid junction, with a normal transverse-sigmoid sinus.
Participants and intervention:
Three patients complained of unilateral, pulsatile tinnitus present for many years. They were identified as having a focal defect of the mastoid bone shell in the region of the transverse-sigmoid junction. The patients underwent transmastoid reconstruction of the mastoid bone shell overlying the transverse-sigmoid sinus.
All three patients reported immediate resolution of their symptoms, and were asymptomatic at final follow up.
A focal defect of the mastoid bone shell overlying the transverse-sigmoid sinus, with no abnormality of the sinus itself, may be a new cause of pulsatile tinnitus. Surgical reconstruction of the mastoid bone shell overlying the transverse-sigmoid sinus can provide lasting symptom relief for patients with pulsatile tinnitus and computed tomographic evidence of the defect.
To report a series of pitfalls and complications in a case of cochlear implantation.
An 11-year-old boy affected by auditory neuropathy underwent cochlear implantation. Intra-operative assessment was apparently consistent with correct insertion of the electrode array into the cochlea. However, subsequent high resolution computed tomography revealed that the entire electrode array was curled up within the vestibule. Revision surgery was complicated by cerebrospinal fluid leakage. A straight probe was repeatedly inserted into the internal auditory canal, before conversion to a canal wall down procedure and appropriate positioning of the electrode array.
In this case, mild anteriorisation of the facial nerve created an awkward insertion angle for the electrode array via the retro-facial route, which may have triggered the described series of adverse events.
Non-arteritic ischaemic optic neuritis is a known post-operative complication of ophthalmological and maxillofacial surgery, but has not been widely described as a potential consequence of head and neck surgery.
To highlight non-arteritic ischaemic optic neuritis as a potential risk in patients undergoing head and neck surgery.
Subject and method:
Case report of a 60-year-old man undergoing total laryngectomy and bilateral neck dissection for laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
On day 14 post-operatively, the patient suffered substantial oral bleeding secondary to an internal jugulo-neopharyngeal fistula. Following emergency haemostatic measures, the patient was immediately aware of visual disturbances. The ophthalmologists concluded that these were due to non-arteritic ischaemic optic neuritis, caused by acute hypoxaemia secondary to substantial blood loss.
The prognosis of non-arteritic ischaemic optic neuritis is poor. Thus, it is crucial that otolaryngologists are aware of this complication of head and neck surgery, as immediate diagnosis and treatment can help prevent worsening visual loss.
We report a case of traumatic cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhoea following nasal packing with a Rapid Rhino inflatable balloon pack, as treatment for epistaxis.
Case report and review of the literature regarding this complication.
A thorough literature search was performed using PubMed. To our best knowledge, there have been no previous reports of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhoea following nasal packing. In our case, cerebrospinal fluid leakage occurred due to fracture of the middle turbinate at its superior skull base insertion. The cerebrospinal fluid leak resolved spontaneously without the need for surgical intervention.
This case report highlights not only the need for an appreciation of sinonasal anatomy and the potential risks associated with nasal packing, but also the need for adequate training in the use of commercially available nasal packs by medical practitioners attending patients with epistaxis.
Fungiform papillomas are benign mucosal neoplasms presenting as a unilateral exophytic mass involving the anterior portion of the nasal septum. In this study, we present an exceptional case of a bilateral fungiform papilloma with a synchronous verrucous carcinoma of the nasal septum.
Material and methods:
A case study with a review of the literature concerning malignant changes in fungiform papilloma.
The general consensus in most of the literature is that malignant change in fungiform papilloma is exceptional. Our patient is probably the third reported case of verrucous carcinoma of the nasal septum, and the first report of a bilateral fungiform papilloma with a synchronous verrucous carcinoma. The tumour was subjected to complete surgical removal in the first instance. There was no recurrence at follow up seven months after surgery.
Although fungiform papillomas are generally not premalignant, occasional malignant transformation may occur. Thus, they must be managed with the utmost cautiousness.