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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Jun;271(6):1409-14. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2585-y. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Operative findings of conductive hearing loss with intact tympanic membrane and normal temporal bone computed tomography.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Republic of Korea.


Despite recent technological advances in diagnostic methods including imaging technology, it is often difficult to establish a preoperative diagnosis of conductive hearing loss (CHL) in patients with an intact tympanic membrane (TM). Especially, in patients with a normal temporal bone computed tomography (TBCT), preoperative diagnosis is more difficult. We investigated middle ear disorders encountered in patients with CHL involving an intact TM and normal TBCT. We also analyzed the surgical results with special reference to the pathology. We reviewed the medical records of 365 patients with intact TM, who underwent exploratory tympanotomy for CHL. Fifty nine patients (67 ears, eight bilateral surgeries) had a normal preoperative TBCT findings reported by neuro-radiologists. Demographic data, otologic history, TM findings, preoperative imaging findings, intraoperative findings, and pre- and postoperative audiologic data were obtained and analyzed. Exploration was performed most frequently in the second and fifth decades. The most common postoperative diagnosis was stapedial fixation with non-progressive hearing loss. The most commonly performed hearing-restoring procedure was stapedotomy with piston wire prosthesis insertion. Various types of hearing-restoring procedures during exploration resulted in effective hearing improvement, especially with better outcome in the ossicular chain fixation group. In patients with CHL who have intact TM and normal TBCT, we should consider an exploratory tympanotomy for exact diagnosis and hearing improvement. Information of the common operative findings from this study may help in preoperative counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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