Otology

Editors Picks

Painful rash of the auricle: Herpes zoster oticus

December 19, 2014     Chao-Yin Kuo, MD; Yuan-Yung Lin, MD; Chih-Hung Wang, MD, PhD
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A PCR assay in addition to conventional serologic testing provides quick confirmation of the diagnosis of herpes zoster oticus infection.

Streamlined bilateral otologic surgery: How I do it

March 2, 2015     Tara E. Brennan, MD; Miriam I. Redleaf, MD
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Abstract

Bilateral simultaneous otologic surgery is being performed more commonly among otologists. The benefits of performing bilateral simultaneous cochlear implants in the pediatric population, in particular, have become increasingly recognized as the safety and efficacy of this operation have been recognized in the literature. Here we present a streamlined method of performing bilateral simultaneous otologic surgery that emphasizes midline placement of facial nerve electrodes and a method of sterile preparation and draping that affords direct exposure to both ears at one time, without the need to turn the head or adjust the drapes multiple times throughout the operation. Our approach facilitates frequent and efficient alternation between ears throughout the operation, optimizing efficiency of motion and instrumentation for the surgeon, and reducing overall operative and general anesthesia time for the patient.

Cochlear implantation leading to successful stapedectomy in the contralateral only-hearing ear

March 2, 2015     Samantha J. Mikals, MD; Gerald I. Schuchman, PhD; Joshua G.W. Bernstein, PhD; Arnaldo L. Rivera, MD
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Abstract

Cochlear implants have recently begun to be offered to patients with single-sided deafness (SSD). Implantation in these patients has led to good results in suppressing ipsilateral tinnitus and in providing audiologic benefits in terms of speech perception in noise and localization. One previously unreported benefit of cochlear implantation in patients with SSD is the restoration of functional hearing in the previously deaf ear, which may allow for surgical opportunities in the contralateral hearing ear. We report a case in which cochlear implantation in the deaf left ear of a 50-year-old man allowed for surgical intervention in the previously only-hearing right ear, which in turn led to the restoration of normal middle ear function. Further studies may be warranted to consider the surgical candidacy of the contralateral only-hearing ear as another potential indication for cochlear implantation in patients with SSD.

Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint caused by Aspergillus flavus infection as a complication of otitis externa

March 2, 2015     Lalee Varghese, MS, DLO, DNB; Rabin Chacko, MDS, FDS, FCPS; George M. Varghese, MD, DNB, DTMH; Anand Job, MS, DLO, MNAMS
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Abstract

Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a very rare complication of otitis externa that can lead to ankylosis and destruction of the joint. We report the case of a 74-year-old man who developed aspergillosis of the TMJ following otitis externa. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of TMJ septic arthritis secondary to otitis externa caused by Aspergillus flavus. The patient was successfully managed with condylectomy, debridement, and drug treatment with voriconazole.

Progression of autoimmune inner ear disease to labyrinthitis ossificans: Clinical and radiologic correlation

March 2, 2015     Jenn Nee Khoo, FRCR; Tiong Yong Tan, FRCR
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Abstract

We report the case of a 42-year-old man who presented with fluctuating bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that subsequently progressed to a complete hearing loss, and we describe the correlation between the clinical and radiologic features of this case. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to demonstrate imaging evidence of progression from autoimmune inner ear disease to labyrinthitis ossificans. This is also the first reported case of a reversal of a loss of labyrinthine CISS (constructive interference in a steady state) signal, suggesting that T2-weighted hyposignal may be attributable to an alteration in labyrinthine fluid content and not to fibrosis only.

Bilateral keratin horns arising from the tympanic membranes: A case report

February 2, 2015     Chu Qin Phua, MRCS, DOHNS; Vikas Malik, FRCS(ORL-HNS); Patrick Zaid Sheehan, FRCS(ORL)
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Abstract

A keratin horn is a horn-like projection composed of dense keratotic material. It usually arises in sun-exposed areas of the body. It can be derived from a variety of underlying benign, premalignant, or malignant epidermal lesions. Risk factors associated with malignant change within a keratin horn include a wide base, male sex, and increasing age, in addition to an origin in a sun-exposed area. The mainstay of management is to obtain a biopsy from the base of the horn and subsequent excision if the histopathologic analysis suggests a malignancy. We report an extremely rare case of bilateral keratin horns arising from the tympanic membranes in a 64-year-old woman. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of its kind to be published in the English-language literature.

Vestibular dehiscence syndrome caused by a labyrinthine congenital cholesteatoma

February 2, 2015     Francesco Fiorino, MD; Francesca B. Pizzini, MD, PhD; Barbara Mattellini, MD; Franco Barbieri, MD
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Abstract

A 40-year-old man presented with conductive hearing loss and pressure- and sound-related vestibular symptoms. Computed tomography and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging revealed the presence of a cholesteatoma involving the vestibular labyrinth. The patient underwent a canal-wall-up tympanoplasty, which revealed evidence of a disruption of the vestibular labyrinth and a wide dehiscence of the vestibule, which was immediately resurfaced. At the 2-month follow-up, the patient's pressure- and sound-related vestibular symptoms had disappeared. Pure-tone audiometry showed a reduction in the air-bone gap with a slight deterioration of bone conduction and an improvement in the air-conduction threshold. Fistulization of the otic capsule produces a “third window,” which can lead to a dehiscence syndrome. One possible cause is a cholesteatoma of the middle ear or petrous bone. When the vestibule is invaded by a cholesteatoma, hearing is almost invariably lost, either pre- or postoperatively. However, in our case, wide opening of the vestibule resulted in hearing preservation.

Absence of the long process of the incus

February 2, 2015     Christina H. Fang, BS; Robert W. Jyung, MD
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A definitive diagnosis of an ossicular defect, such as absence of the incus long process, requires an exploratory tympanotomy.

Metastatic breast carcinoma presenting as unilateral pulsatile tinnitus: A case report

February 2, 2015     Andrew Moore, MRCS, DOHNS; Max Cunnane, BMBS, BMedSci; Jason C. Fleming, MRCS, DOHNS, MEd
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Abstract

Pulsatile tinnitus is a rare symptom, yet it may herald life-threatening pathology in the absence of other symptoms or signs. Pulsatile tinnitus tends to imply a vascular cause, but metastatic disease also can present in this way. Clinicians should therefore adopt a specific diagnostic algorithm for pulsatile tinnitus and always consider the possibility of metastatic disease. A history of malignant disease and new cranial nerve palsies should raise clinical suspicion for skull base metastases. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman presenting with unilateral subjective pulsatile tinnitus and a middle ear mass visible on otoscopy. Her background included the diagnosis of idiopathic unilateral vagal and hypoglossal nerve palsies 4 years previously, with normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Repeat MRI and computed tomography imaging were consistent with metastatic breast carcinoma. This case raises important questions about imaging protocols and the role of serial scanning in patients at high risk of metastatic disease.

Salivary gland choristoma of the middle ear

February 2, 2015     Shubin Chen, MD; Yongxin Li, MD
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Abstract

Salivary gland choristoma of the middle ear is a rare entity. It is believed to be a developmental abnormality that may be associated with anomalies of adjacent structures. We describe the case of a 6-year-old girl who had a salivary gland choristoma in the middle ear that was associated with an ossicular chain anomaly and a facial nerve anomaly. We discuss the clinical features and management of this condition, and we review the literature.

Effect of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of cochlear tinnitus: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study

January 19, 2015     Mahboobeh Adami Dehkordi, MD; Sasan Einolghozati, MD; Seyyed Mohsen Ghasemi, PhD; Samaneh Abolbashari, MD; Mojtaba Meshkat, MSc; Hadi Behzad, MSc
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Abstract

Many treatments for chronic tinnitus have been attempted, but the condition remains difficult to cure, especially in the case of cochlear tinnitus. We conducted a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the effect of low-dose laser therapy on chronic cochlear tinnitus. Our study population was made up of 66 patients-33 who received active laser treatment (case group) and 33 who received inactive dummy treatment (control group). Patients in the laser group received 5 mV with a wavelength of 650 nm for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks. The controls followed the same schedule, but they were “treated” with an inactive device. The degree of tinnitus was evaluated before and after treatment in each group in three ways: (1) the Tinnitus Severity Index (TSI), (2) a subjective 10-point self-assessment scale for tinnitus loudness, and (3) the Tinnitus Evaluation Test (TET). At study's end, we found no statistically significant differences between the case and control groups in the number of patients who experienced a reduction in TSI values (p = 0.589) or a reduction in subjective self-assessment scores (p = 0.475). Nor did we find any significant reductions in the loudness (p = 0.665) and frequency (p = 0.396) of tinnitus as determined by the TET. We conclude that 5-mV laser therapy with a wavelength of 650 nm is no better than placebo for improving hearing thresholds overall or for treating tinnitus with regard to age, sex, environmental noise level, and the duration of tinnitus.

Contralateral hearing loss after vestibular schwannoma excision: A rare complication of neurotologic surgery

January 19, 2015     Robert H. Deeb, MD; Jack P. Rock, MD; Michael D. Seidman, MD, FACS
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Abstract

We report a rare case of contralateral hearing loss after vestibular schwannoma excision in a 48-year-old man who underwent surgery via a suboccipital approach for removal of a nearly 2-cm lesion involving the right cerebellopontine angle. Postoperatively, the patient awoke with bilateral deafness, confirmed by both audiometry and spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. The patient was treated aggressively with high-dose intravenous steroids, vitamins E and C, and oxygen. Over the next several months he had gradual recovery of most of the hearing in his left (unoperated) ear. Contralateral hearing loss may develop after vestibular schwannoma excision; multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms for this occurrence have been proposed.