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Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 21;5:13341. doi: 10.1038/srep13341.

High-frequency hearing, tinnitus, and patient satisfaction with stapedotomy: A randomized prospective study.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Audiology and Neurotology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Cell Biology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.


Otosclerosis is a common disorder that leads to conductive hearing loss. Most patients with otosclerosis also have tinnitus, and surgical treatment is known to improve hearing as well as tinnitus. Some patients however experience worsening of tinnitus after the operation, but there are no known factors that allow surgeons to predict who will be at risk. In this prospective observational study on 133 patients undergoing stapedotomy, we show that postoperative air conduction thresholds at very high stimulus frequencies predict improvement of tinnitus, as assessed with proportional odds logistic regression models. Young patients were significantly more likely to experience reduction of tinnitus and patients whose tinnitus became better were also more satisfied with the outcome of the operation. These findings have practical importance for patients and their surgeons. Young patients can be advised that surgery is likely to be beneficial for their tinnitus, but a less positive message should be conveyed to older patients.

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