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Analyzing Medicare payments to otologists

August 18, 2018  |  T. Edward Imbery, MD; Brian D. Nicholas, MD; Parul Goyal, MD, MBA


The study objective was to analyze Medicare payment data to otologists compared to otolaryngologists, using the publicly released Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dataset. Charges, payments, and common Current Procedural Terminology codes were obtained. Otology providers were selected from the roster of the American Otological Society. Descriptive statistics and unequal variance two-tailed t tests were used for comparisons between otologists (n = 147) and otolaryngologists (n = 8,318). The mean overall submitted charge was $204,851 per otology provider and was $211,209 per other otolaryngology providers (non-otologists) (p = 0.92). The mean payment to otologists was $56,191 (range: $297 to $555,274, standard deviation [SD] ±$68,540) and significantly lower (p = 0.005) than $77,275 to otolaryngologists (range: $94 to $2,123,900, SD ±$86,423). The mean submitted charge-to-payment ratio (fee multiplier) per otology provider was 3.87 (range 1.50 to 9.10, SD ±1.70), which was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) than the ratio for otolaryngologists (mean 2.91; range: 1.25 to 17.51, SD ±1.22). Office visit evaluation and management (E&M) codes made up the majority in terms of use and payments. Interestingly, allergy-based services comprised a substantial amount of repeat use among a small subset of otologists. Audiology services were billed by a similar percentage of otologists and other otolaryngologists (52%), but otologists received a significantly higher overall payment for these services.

Ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and intravestibular intralabyrinthine schwannomas

August 18, 2018  |  Massimo Ralli, MD, PhD; Giuseppe Nola, MD; Massimo Fusconi, MD; Luca Sparvoli, MD; Giovanni Ralli, MD


Intravestibular intralabyrinthine schwannomas (ILSs) are uncommon benign tumors that arise from the saccular, utricular, and lateral and superior ampullary nerves. According to the literature, there is an average delay of 8 years between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on an audiovestibular examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We describe a case of intravestibular ILS in which we included the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMPs) test in the diagnostic workup. The oVEMPs test is a relatively new neurophysiologic diagnostic modality that evaluates the superior vestibular pathway and the ascending contralateral pathway through the vestibulo-ocular reflex. In our case, a 65-year-old man presented with progressive right-sided sensorineural hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus and fullness in his right ear. Audiovestibular examination and MRI detected an intravestibular ILS on the right. We found that oVEMPs were absent on the contralateral side, which contributed to the diagnostic process. The detection of oVEMPs can provide detailed information on the functionality of the macula of the utricle and the lateral and superior ampullary nerves, with a precise identification of the affected area. Based on our findings, we discuss the role of oVEMPs in the diagnosis of an intravestibular ILS.

Endoscopic view of a sinonasal osteoma

August 18, 2018  |  Dewey A. Christmas, MD; Joseph P. Mirante, MD, MBA, FACS; Eiji Yanagisawa, MD, FACS

Surgical intervention is indicated only in the event of symptoms or complications caused by the osteoma.

Accessory submandibular duct sialolithiasis identified during sialendoscopy

August 18, 2018  |  Andrew J. Thomas, MD; Kevin F. Wilson, MD


We describe a unique case of a 62-year-old patient with recurrent right submandibular sialadenitis. He initially appeared to have extensive sialolithiasis of the right submandibular duct on computed tomography imaging and examination, but sialendoscopy demonstrated a normal-appearing right submandibular duct. An accessory duct posterior and parallel to the normal duct was identified at the time of sialendoscopy and was found to have extensive sialolithiasis, which required removal by both an endoscopic and intraoral technique. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of sialolithiasis of an accessory submandibular duct identified at the time of sialendoscopy; the other few reported cases in the literature are based primarily on findings from traditional sialography or magnetic resonance sialography. Identification of accessory salivary ducts requires intraoperative consideration of this entity during sialendoscopy. Open approaches to sialolithiasis, however, may be aided by appropriate preoperative imaging.

HPV-related sinonasal carcinoma with adenoid cystic-like features with intracranial invasion

August 18, 2018  |  Yuntsung Hung, MD; Yu-Yen Chung, MD; Mei-Ling Chen, MD; Jyun-Ying Guo, MD

HPV-related sinonasal carcinoma with adenoid cystic-like features is a recently described tumor with less than 10 cases reported in the literature to date.

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor of the larynx

August 18, 2018  |  Yu-Hsuan Wang, MD; Yi-Shing Leu, MD; Wei-Chin Chang, MD

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor usually involves the lungs, bronchopulmonary tree, and abdominal viscera.

Analysis of the audiogram shape in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss using a cluster analysis

August 18, 2018  |  Tetsuo Watanabe, MD, PhD; Masashi Suzuki, MD, PhD


We performed a cluster analysis to classify the audiogram shape in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). We also investigated whether the audiogram shape is a prognostic indicator in the management of ISSNHL. A total of 115 inpatients with ISSNHL treated between 2001 and 2010 were analyzed. The data collected included age, sex, duration of hearing loss at the time of treatment, and the presence or absence of tinnitus, vertigo, diabetes, nystagmus, and canal paresis. A hierarchical cluster analysis was performed using the hearing threshold for each frequency on audiograms as variables. A logistic regression model was used for the prognostic analysis. The audiogram shape was classified into four clusters: (1) crossing horizontally pattern of all tones; (2) up-sloping pattern of low-tone loss; (3) deaf pattern; and (4) down-sloping pattern of high-tone loss. The age of the patient, presence of canal paresis, and audiogram shape showed statistically significant relationships with hearing improvement. The audiogram shape based on the cluster analysis demonstrated a significant relationship with hearing improvement in patients with ISSNHL. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying etiology of each audiogram shape.

Esophageal perforation as a complication of the Heimlich maneuver in a pediatric patient: A case report

August 18, 2018  |  Shira L. Koss, MD; William E. Karle, MD; Gregory Dibelius, MD; Ameet Kamat, MD; Craig Berzofsky, MD


We report a case of cervical esophageal perforation caused by the Heimlich maneuver in a healthy 16-year-old boy. The patient reported a short coughing episode while eating rice, and his mother performed the Heimlich maneuver on him. Five days later, he presented to the emergency department with throat pain, odynophagia, secretion intolerance, muffled voice, and neck stiffness. He was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for conservative management. The next day he underwent transcervical incision and drainage of purulence, but the esophageal perforation could not be visualized at that time. The perforation was identified several days later and successfully repaired surgically. Esophageal perforation as a complication of the Heimlich maneuver is exceedingly rare, but the clinician should be aware of this entity in the differential diagnosis, as it is associated with a high mortality rate and warrants multidisciplinary care, including timely surgical intervention.

Warthin tumor of the larynx: A case report and review of the literature

August 18, 2018  |  Irit Duek, MD; Miki Paker, MD; Ziv Gil, MD, PhD; Jacob T. Cohen, MD


Warthin tumor (papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum) is a benign salivary gland tumor that occurs almost exclusively in the parotid gland. As far as we know, only 15 cases of laryngeal Warthin tumor have been previously reported worldwide. We describe the case of a 75-year-old woman with a supraglottic tumor that mimicked a mucoepidermoid carcinoma. The tumor was completely excised via a transcervical approach. Pathology identified it as a Warthin tumor. At follow-up, the patient maintained good oral intake. Computed tomography 3 months postoperatively confirmed complete tumor resection and detected no evidence of residual disease or recurrence. We also discuss our review of the literature on benign laryngeal salivary gland tumors, which included an analysis of 112 cases. The most common tumors were oncocytic cystadenomas (n = 65), pleomorphic adenomas (n = 28), and Warthin tumors (n = 15); we also found 2 cases each of basal cell adenomas and myoepitheliomas. The most common single tumor site was the glottis (n = 25), followed by the supraglottis (n = 24), and the subglottis (n = 22); 5 cases occurred in multiple sites, and the specific site was not reported in 36 cases. Benign laryngeal neoplasms of salivary gland origin should be carefully evaluated. Distinguishing these tumors from malignant lesions and establishing the correct diagnosis are crucial for treatment planning. Large lesions with extralaryngeal extension can be resected completely via an open external approach.

Tympanometric volume as a useful tool for the evaluation of middle ear status in chronic otitis media

August 18, 2018  |  Shin Hye Kim, MD, PhD; Hyun Sook Hong, MD, PhD; Jong Dae Lee, MD, PhD; Moo Kyun Park, MD, PhD


Tympanometric volume is a useful tool for evaluating middle ear status in otitis media. However, its usefulness in chronic otitis media (COM) has not been well evaluated. This study aimed to investigate whether tympanometric volume reflects the status of the middle ear and mastoid or can provide clinical information about patients with COM and subsequent tympanic membrane perforation. A prospective cohort study including 50 adult patients with COM and subsequent tympanic membrane perforation was performed. The volumes of the middle ear and mastoid were preoperatively calculated using tympanometry and three- dimensional computed tomography (CT) reconstruction of the temporal bone, respectively. During surgery for COM, the patency of the middle ear and mastoid antrum was evaluated. The volumes of the middle ear and mastoid measured by tympanometry and CT were compared with the surgical findings. When the mastoid antrum was patent, the volumes of the middle ear and mastoid measured by tympanometry and CT were well correlated. Moreover, the difference in the volumes measured by tympanometry between the affected and unaffected ears was large. However, when the mastoid antrum was poorly aerated, the difference in the volumes measured by tympanometry between the affected and unaffected ears was small. Middle ear status can be evaluated according to the difference in tympanometric volume between the two ears. If the tympanometric volume suggests poor aeration of the middle ear and mastoid, clinicians should consider procedures for mastoid aeration.