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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Apr;271(4):665-72. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2457-5. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Presentation of floating mass transducer and Vibroplasty couplers on CT and cone beam CT.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Head and Neck Surgery, Comprehensive Hearing Center, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, 97080, Wuerzburg, Germany,


Various titanium coupling elements, Vibroplasty Couplers, maintaining the attachment of the Floating Mass Transducer (FMT) of the active middle ear implant Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) to the round window, the stapes suprastructure or the stapes footplate are in use to optimally transfer energy from the FMT to the inner ear fluids. In certain cases it is of interest to radiologically verify the correct position of the FMT coupler assembly. The imaging appearance of FMT connected to these couplers, however, is not well known. The aim of this study was to present the radiological appearance of correctly positioned Vibroplasty Couplers together with the FMT using two different imaging techniques. Vibroplasty Couplers were attached to the FMT of a Vibrant Soundbridge and implanted in formalin fixed human temporal bones. Five FMT coupler assemblies were implanted in different positions: conventionally to the incus, a Bell-Coupler, a CliP-Coupler, a Round Window-Coupler and an Oval Window-Coupler. High spatial resolution imaging with Multi-Detector CT (MDCT) and Cone Beam CT (CBCT) was performed in each specimen. Images were blind evaluated by two radiologists on a visual basis. Middle ear details, identification of FMT and coupler, position of FMT coupler assembly and artefacts were assessed. CBCT showed a better spatial resolution and a higher visual image quality than MDCT, but there was no significant advantage over MDCT in delineating the structures or the temporal bone of the FMT Coupler assemblies. The FMT with its coupler element could be clearly identified in the two imaging techniques. The correct positioning of the FMT and all types of couplers could be demonstrated. Both methods, MDCT and CBCT, are appropriate methods for postoperative localization of FMT in combination with Vibroplasty Couplers and for verifying their correct position. If CBCT is available, this method is recommended due to the better spatial resolution and less metal artifacts.

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