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Adv Otorhinolaryngol. 2018;81:133-145. doi: 10.1159/000485579. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Perilymphatic Fistula.


Perilymphatic fistula (PLF) is defined as an abnormal communication between the fluid (perilymph)-filled space of the inner ear and the air-filled space of the middle ear and mastoid, or cranial spaces. PLF is located in the round or oval window, fractured bony labyrinth, microfissures, anomalous footplate, and can occur after head trauma or barotrauma, chronic inflammation, or in otic capsule dehiscence. This clinical entity was initially proposed more than a century ago, yet it has remained a topic of controversy for more than 50 years. The difficulty of making a definitive diagnosis of PLF has caused a long-standing debate regarding its prevalence, natural history, management and even its very existence. In this present study, we will discuss the symptoms, physiological tests (focusing on vestibular assessment) and imaging studies. Referring to a previous criticism, we will share our classification of PLF into 4 categories. Furthermore, we will summarize a nationwide survey using a novel and widely used biomarker (Cochlin-tomoprotein [CTP]) for PLF diagnosis in Japan and present the results of the new diagnostic criteria. PLF is surgically correctable by sealing the fistula, and appropriate recognition and treatment of PLF can improve hearing and balance, and in turn, improve the quality of life of afflicted patients. Therefore, PLF is an especially important treatable disease for otologists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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