Otology

Medial canal fibrosis

September 18, 2013     Joseph A. Ursick, MD; John W. House, MD
article

Medial canal fibrosis is an uncommon condition characterized by progressive stenosis of the bony external auditory canal.

Paraganglioma presenting as cholesterol granuloma of the petrous apex

September 18, 2013     Selena E. Heman-Ackah, MD, MBA; Tina C. Huang, MD
article

Abstract

We report the unique finding of a petrous apex cholesterol granuloma associated with a paraganglioma, also known as a glomus jugulare tumor, in a 52-year-old woman who presented to our department with pulsatile tinnitus, hearing loss, aural fullness, and disequilibrium. She had been treated for a petrous apex cholesterol granuloma 20 years earlier, at which time she had undergone drainage of the granuloma via subtotal petrous apicectomy. When she came to our facility approximately 20 years later, she had signs and symptoms consistent with a jugular paraganglioma, which was likely to have been present at the time of her initial presentation for the cholesterol granuloma. In fact, microscopic bleeding from the paraganglioma might have led to the formation of the cholesterol granuloma. The metachronous presentation of these two entities, which to our knowledge has not been reported previously in the literature, indicates the potential association of paragangliomas with the formation of cholesterol granulomas of the petrous apex.

Thiersch skin grafting in otologic surgery

August 21, 2013     Helen Xu, MD; Natasha Pollak, MD, MS; and Michael M. Paparella, MD
article

Abstract

Thiersch skin grafting is an old but highly effective surgical technique in otology. We frequently place a Thiersch graft after otologic procedures that either create a mastoid cavity or result in reduced skin coverage of a portion of the external auditory canal. The purpose of this article is to introduce this surgical technique to a new generation of otologists. We discuss its indications, the surgical technique, tips for a successful outcome, and postoperative care. A key to successful skin grafting is to perform the procedure about 10 days after the primary procedure to allow sufficient time for the formation of an adequate vascular bed at the recipient site. The goal in all cases is to achieve a safe, dry ear that is covered with keratinizing squamous epithelium. Thiersch grafting accomplishes this very well.

Ganglion cyst in the external auditory canal

August 21, 2013     Chi-Kyou Lee, MD; Mee-Hye Oh, MD; and Kye Hoon Park, MD
article

In rare instances, ganglion cysts of the TMJ can pre-sent as a mass of the EAC, sometimes without obvious communication with the glenoid fossa.

Middle ear effusion in adult ICU patients: A cohort study

August 21, 2013     Bradley W. Kesser, MD; Charles Ryan Woodard, MD; Nicholas G. Stowell, MD; and Samuel S. Becker, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a prospective study of 74 adults-34 men and 40 women, aged 18 to 90 (mean: 60.2)-to determine the prevalence of middle ear effusion (MEE) among patients in the setting of an intensive care unit (ICU) and to compare the findings with those of a control group of non-ICU hospitalized patients. Other goals were to identify risk factors associated with MEE in ICU patients and to evaluate any association with fever. Both groups included 37 patients. MEE was present in 19 patients (51.4%) in the ICU group, compared with only 2 patients (5.4%) in the control group (p < 0.01; odds ratio: 18.5; 95% confidence interval: 3.9 to 88.3). In the ICU group, there were statistically significant associations between MEE and both the use of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.03) and the use of sedation (p = 0.02). No significant relationships were seen in terms of length of stay, body position, the use of an endotracheal tube, the length of ventilation, and the use of a feeding tube. Fever was present in 8 ICU patients (21.6%) and 3 controls (8.1%), but none of the fevers was associated with MEE. We conclude that adult ICU patients have a high prevalence of MEE (51.4% in our sample) that is perhaps unrecognized. We believe that MEE in these patients is most likely related to altered consciousness, sedation, and mechanical ventilation. MEE was an unlikely cause of fever.

Transient auditory dysfunction: A description and study of prevalence

August 21, 2013     Laurence Maximilian Almond, MB ChB; Ketul Patel, MB ChB; and Darius Rejali, MB ChB
article

Abstract

Transient auditory dysfunction (TAD) is a previously undescribed symptom complex of unknown cause. It is characterized by short-lasting sensorineural hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral), it is associated with tinnitus, it resolves completely within minutes, and it is not accompanied by vestibular symptoms. We conducted a cross-sectional prospective study to define TAD, find its prevalence, and discuss its significance. Two hundred healthy subjects between the ages of 16 and 49 years were surveyed using a questionnaire. Of these subjects, 41 (20.5%) reported experiencing symptoms of TAD. The mean number of episodes was 5.9 times per month, the mean duration was 41 seconds, and 80% experienced concomitant tinnitus. We conclude that TAD is a common finding in a healthy population. This may have implications for the pathogenesis of sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss. Further longitudinal studies and detailed audiologic evaluation of patients with TAD are required to ascertain the significance, etiology, and pathophysiology of this condition.

Degraded tympanostomy tube in the middle ear

July 21, 2013     Nitin J. Patel, MD; Joshua Bedwell, MD; Nancy Bauman, MD; Brian K. Reilly, MD
article

Tympanostomy tubes can cause a foreign-body reaction that can lead to myringitis and the development of granulation tissue and polyps.

Large osteoma of the external auditory canal

July 21, 2013     Takashi Iizuka, MD; Takuo Haruyama, MD; Keiko Nagaya, MD
article

Using a capsule flap for the reconstruction of a partial auricular defect

July 21, 2013     Barsil Keklik, MD; Memet Yazar, MD; Karaca Basaran, MD; Erdem Guven, MD; Samet Vasfi Kuvat, MD
article

Abstract

In this article we describe the capsular flap for covering the posterior surface of cartilaginous framework in ear reconstruction. This technique has not been previously described in the published literature.

Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumolabyrinth plus pneumocephalus as complications of middle ear implant and cochlear implant surgery

July 21, 2013     Brian J. McKinnon, MD, MBA; Tamara Watts, MD, PhD
article

Abstract

We conducted a retrospective case review at a tertiary academic medical center for the complications of pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus and subcutaneous emphysema after surgery for middle ear and cochlear implants. Charts of 76 cochlear implant and 2 middle ear implant patients from January 2001 through June 2009 were reviewed. We identified 1 cochlear implant recipient with pneumolabyrinth and pneumocephalus, and 1 middle ear implant recipient with subcutaneous emphysema. Surgical exploration was performed for the pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus; the subcutaneous emphysema was managed conservatively. The patient with the cochlear implant, who had had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt placed, experienced pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus 6 years after uneventful surgery. Middle ear exploration revealed no residual fibrous tissue seal at the cochleostomy. The middle ear and cochleostomy were obliterated with muscle, fat, and fibrin glue. The ventriculoperitoneal shunt was deactivated, with clinical and radiographic resolution. On postoperative day 5, the patient who had undergone the middle ear implant reported crepitance over the mastoid and implant device site after repeated Valsalva maneuvers. Computed tomography showed air surrounding the internal processor. A mastoid pressure dressing was applied and the subcutaneous emphysema resolved. These 2 cases support the importance of recognizing the clinical presentation of pneumolabyrinth with associated pneumocephalus, as well as subcutaneous emphysema. Securing the internal processor, adequately sealing the cochleostomy, and providing preoperative counseling regarding Valsalva maneuvers and the potential risk of cochlear implantation in the presence of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt may prevent adverse sequelae.

Outcomes following ossicular chain reconstruction with composite prostheses: Hydroxyapatite-polyethylene vs. hydroxyapatite-titanium

June 11, 2013     Yoav Hahn, MD; and Dennis I. Bojrab, MD
article

Abstract

We conducted a retrospective study to compare the results of ossicular chain reconstruction (OCR) with two types of composite prosthesis: a hydroxyapatite-polyethylene (HAPEX) implant and a hydroxyapatite-titanium (HATi) prosthesis. We reviewed the records of 222 patients-104 males and 118 females, aged 8 to 79 years (mean: 39.7)-who had undergone OCR for ossicular chain dysfunction and who met our eligibility criteria. In addition to demographic data and the type of prosthesis, we compiled information on pre- and postoperative audiometric findings, the underlying diagnosis, the timing of surgery (primary, planned, or revision), the type of surgery (tympanoplasty alone, tympanoplasty with antrotomy, intact-canal-wall tympanomastoidectomy, or canal-wall-down tympanomastoidectomy), the extent of reconstruction (partial or total), the use of the malleus, the use of a tragal cartilage graft, and evidence of extrusion. Of the 222 patients, 46 had undergone insertion of either a partial (n = 36) or total (n = 10) ossicular replacement prosthesis (PORP and TORP, respectively) made with HAPEX, and 176 had received a PORP (n = 101) or TORP (n = 75) made with HATi. Postoperatively, the mean air-bone gap (ABG) was 14.0 dB in the HAPEX group and 14.7 dB in the HATi group, which was not a significant difference (p = 0.61). Postoperative success (ABG ≤20 dB) with PORP was obtained in 30 of the 36 patients in the HAPEX group (83.3%) and in 87 of the 101 patients in the HATi group (86.1%), while success with TORP was achieved in 7 of 10 HAPEX patients (70.0%) and 56 of 75 HATi patients (74.7%); there was no significant difference in either PORP or TORP success rates between the HAPEX and HATi groups (p = 0.32). A significantly better hearing result was obtained when the malleus was used in reconstruction (p = 0.035), but the use of tragal cartilage led to a significantly worse outcome (p = 0.026). Revision surgery was associated with a significantly worse postoperative result (p = 0.034). Prosthesis extrusion was observed in 9.0% of all cases. The two types of composite assessed in this study yielded similar results in terms of functional hearing and stability, but the HATi prosthesis had some significant advantages. For example, it was associated with more cases in which the ABG closed to less than 10 dB. In addition, because of its thinner stem and lower profile, it can be used in situations that are not possible with the HAPEX implant.

Traumatic ossicle extrusion into the external auditory canal

June 11, 2013     Manish Gupta, MS(ENT); Sunder Singh, MS(ENT); and Monica Gupta, MD(Med)
article

Abstract

We report a rare case of incus dislocation into the external auditory canal following a head injury. The patient was a 35-year-old man who presented to the surgical emergency unit with a head injury that he had sustained during a traffic accident. An x-ray of the skull detected a longitudinal fracture of the right temporal bone. The ENT examination revealed the presence of a bony structure and a blood clot in the right external auditory canal. Computed tomography identified a disruption of the ossicular chain, with an incus-like bony shadow in the external canal. The wide opening of the fracture line and the impact of the accident were believed to have pushed the incus through the fracture and into the external canal. The patient was successfully treated with exploratory tympanotomy and ossiculoplasty.

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