The following is an abstracted summary, not a verbatim transcript, of the lectures/discussions on this audio program. If, after reviewing this written summary, you would like to hear the contents and/or earn CME/CE credit, simply visit the Audio-Digest Foundation website
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Issues in Otology
The goals of this program are to improve the management of patients with acoustic neuromas and infants who require cochlear implantation. After hearing and assimilating this program, the clinician will be better able to:
1. Choose appropriate treatment for the patient with an acoustic neuroma.
2. Explain the various surgical approaches used in the operative management of an acoustic neuroma.
3. Summarize recent technical advances in the intraoperative and postoperative care of the patient with an acoustic neuroma.
4. Describe tests used in newborn hearing screening and follow-up.
5. Participate in the team providing preoperative testing and postoperative care for infants and young children who require cochlear implantation.
In adherence to ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, Audio-Digest requires all faculty and members of the planning committee to disclose relevant financial relationships within the past 12 months that might create any personal conflicts of interest. Any identified conflicts were resolved to ensure that this educational activity promotes quality in health care and not a proprietary business or commercial interest. For this program, the faculty and planning committee reported nothing to disclose.
Dr. Leonetti spoke at Innovations in Otolaryngology, presented March 14, 2009 in Maywood, IL, and sponsored by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and the Division of Continuing Medical Education. Dr. Evans addressed The Twenty-Ninth Annual James A. Harrill Lecture, presented April 24-25, 2009, in Winston-Salem, NC, by the Department of Otolaryngology, Wake Forest University, School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. The Audio-Digest Foundation thanks the speakers and the sponsors for their cooperation in the production of this program.
Acoustic Neuromas: Innovations in Treatment
John P. Leonetti, MD, Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and Director of Otology, Neurotology, and Skull-Base Surgery, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Natural history of acoustic neuroma (AN): benign tumors that grow slowly (»1 mm/yr); originate from vestibular nerve; enlargement compresses blood supply to cochlear nerve, causing presenting symptoms of progressive unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and tinnitus; do not cause dizziness or vertigo because vestibular system of contralateral ear compensates; as enlargement continues, AN can compress cerebellum, causing ataxia; incidence —1 in 100,000 people per year; comprise 90% of tumors of cerebellopontine (CP) angle (meningiomas »5%; epidermoids 2%-3%)
Symptoms: after SNHL and tinnitus, facial numbness and decreased corneal response due to vertical growth of tumor; facial nerve rarely involved, so facial paralysis seldom seen; AN pushes nerve out, while meningiomas invade nerve, causing facial paralysis; many patients asymptomatic (AN discovered incidentally), especially younger patients in whom neural tissue more elastic
Diagnosis: history and physical examination; audiometry; if audiogram shows unilateral SNHL, auditory brainstem response (ABR) next; if ABR normal, chance of having AN extremely low (repeat audiography in 1 yr); if ABR abnormal, perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; can detect tumor as small as 2 mm); if hearing poor, ABR cannot be used (go directly to MRI); computed tomography (CT) used only if patient cannot tolerate MRI (due to, eg, claustrophobia, pacemaker); CT less accurate, requires contrast, and cannot detect small intracanalicular tumors
Complications: compression of brainstem and fourth ventricle may result in hydrocephalus and coma (emergent surgery indicated); acute SNHL — slowly growing tumor can acutely occlude cochlear artery; however, most acute SNHL due to viral inflammation or cochlear artery occlusion unrelated to tumor; treated with steroids (oral and intratympanic); other lesions — eg, hemangiomas, lipomas (majority benign); metastatic lesions (eg, from breast cancer) cause facial paralysis and pain
Treatment options: MRI surveillance — for elderly patients with small tumors; no treatment needed; radiation therapy — educate patients about risks, advantages and disadvantages; tumor does not go away or shrink; may cause hearing loss, facial twitching, or facial paralysis; may cause tumor to become cystic and grow into brainstem; radiation failures make surgery more difficult because tumor now welded to facial nerve and planes obliterated; hearing cannot be saved after tumor irradiation; tumor histology does not change (no fibrosis); irradiation of fifth nerve causes relentless facial pain; incidence of postoperative infection increased; surgical resection — goals to save facial nerve, save hearing, and have low recurrence rate
Middle cranial fossa approach: remove window of squamous portion of temporal bone above ear; extradurally elevate temporal lobe; reach down into internal auditory canal; saves hearing
Retrosigmoid approach: for tumors that extend into CP angle; open skull behind sigmoid sinus and drill off back, bottom, and top of internal auditory canal; teamwork —craniotomy performed; otolaryngologist drills internal auditory canal and removes intracanalicular portion of tumor; neurosurgeon removes part of tumor next to brainstem
Translabyrinthine approach: in front of sigmoid sinus; drill through semicircular canals; most direct route to internal auditory canal for patients who have profound hearing loss or tumors so large that attempt to save hearing unrealistic
Combined retrosigmoid and translabyrinthine approach: for very large tumors
Improved MRI: contrast (gadolinium) makes definitive diagnosis; screening MRI — coronal section only, with and without contrast; less expensive; used for follow-up after surgery to detect recurrence
Monitoring of facial nerve: performed throughout surgery; electrodes inserted in facial musculature (real time monitoring)
Monitoring of hearing: audiologist performs equivalent of ABR during surgery; if wave forms start to alter, surgeon can modify technique to save hearing
Modification of surgical technique: before surgery, depending on individual patient parameters (eg, size and location of tumor)
Screening for deep venous thrombosis: protocol to prevent pulmonary embolism
Early balance therapy: starts in operating room; surgery severs vestibular nerve; patients with smaller tumors have more problems with balance than those with larger tumors, because larger tumors have already forced compensation by contralateral vestibular apparatus; since balance function maintained on side with small tumor, these patients have more nausea, vomiting, and vertigo; reduces recovery time (most patients return to work after 1 mo
Facial retraining physical therapy: patients seldom have facial paralysis, since facial nerve stretched but not cut, and paralysis always temporary; stretched nerve may take £6 mo to recover; therapy starts at first sign of return of facial movement; this reduces length of recovery and amount of synkinetic movement
Hearing preservation: achieved two-thirds of time; if hearing lost, bone anchored hearing aid may be used
Cerebrospinal fluid leaks: rate 4% at speaker’s institution; if leak through nose via eustachian tube, patient returned to operating room for repair to prevent meningitis
Follow-up: 9 yr; MRI 1 yr, 4 yr, and 9 yr after surgery; most recurrences small and intracanalicular and do not require surgery
Challenges: improvement of monitoring of hearing (signal-averaged ABR not real time; 4-10-sec lag); prevention of delayed facial weakness; maintenance of cochlear blood flow — gives better chance for hearing preservation; cochlear nerve not cut, but cochlear artery small, and if spasm, kink or occlusion occurs, hearing damaged
Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2): patients have multiple tumors and bilateral AN; deafness inevitable; remove tumor in ear with worst hearing first; when surgery required in second ear, auditory brainstem implant placed; if hearing still lost, bone anchored hearing aid used
Cochlear Implantation in Babies
Adele K. Evans, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC
Congenital hearing loss: incidence — profound congenital hearing loss seen in 1 in 1000 live births (50% genetic; 50% environmental); 400 hereditary syndromes; majority of nonsyndromic hereditary hearing loss due to autosomal recessive disorders, followed by autosomal dominant and X-linked disorders
Etiology of acquired hearing loss: infection; intrauterine exposure to drugs or alcohol; noise in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); antibiotics; perinatal meningitis; metabolic disorders (eg, glycogen storage disorder)
Audiometric evaluation: passive testing — mandatory in newborn; includes ABR and otoacoustic emissions (OAE); active testing — in older infants; include behavioral audiometry; visually reinforced audiometry; play audiometry; standard pure tone audiometry
Universal newborn hearing screening: in most states, required before infant leaves hospital or NICU; choice of ABR (preferred at speaker’s institution) or OAE; data available to audiologists in state; infants with referred ear must see audiologist; further testing — OAE used to supplement and confirm information from ABR; tympanograms show whether debris in ear canal or fluid in middle ear contributing to problem; facilitates early medical evaluation; »3 in 1000 have hearing loss of ³30 decibels (dB); sedation — in young infants, ABR performed during natural sleep; sedation needed for older infants; if sedation required for medical procedure, eg, tube placement, ABR done at same time in operating room; hearing aid fitting — ear molds also made while child sedated in OR; hearing aids made, and child reevaluated after trial period
Medical evaluation: imaging, primarily CT; MRI secondary mode; electrocardiography; urinalysis; ophthalmologic evaluation; genetic assessment — genes for connexin 26; genes for aminoglycoside sensitivity; genes linked to auditory neuropathy and ability to respond to cochlear implantation; gives parents prognosis for patient and helps them with family planning
Findings on CT: anatomy of inner ear; cochlear aplasia or hypoplasia consistent with SNHL; enlarged vestibular aqueduct may indicate progressive SNHL and need for follow-up; locates facial nerve in patients with craniofacial anomalies; ossicular abnormalities also determined from CT
MRI findings: for further investigation of patients in whom presence of nerves in internal auditory canal not certain, eg, patients with flat ABR since birth; important in patients with developmental delay; helpful in patients with coloboma, heart defects, choanal atresia, retardation of growth, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities (CHARGE syndrome) to determine symmetry and presence of nerves in inner ear; MRI used to follow children with developmental delay for demyelinating disorders and multiple infarcts, and to determine stability of infarcts
Other tests: electrocardiography — helps prevent sudden cardiac death in patients with syndromic deafness (eg, prolonged QT syndrome) by allowing early start of medical treatment; urinalysis — to look for proteins associated with Alport’s syndrome; ophthalmologic examination — to detect retina and lens problems, and heritable myopias; coloboma, retinitis pigmentosa (suggests Usher’s syndrome)
Reasons for cochlear implantation: if otherwise healthy child receives implant by 1 yr of age, he or she will be able to join regular kindergarden class; if deafness not addressed, 30% of children with single-sided deafness fail one grade; aural rehabilitation dramatically reduces cost to education system and facilitates entry into social community
Implant team: at speaker’s institution, includes speech pathologist, 3 pediatric audiologists, and 2 pediatric otolaryngologists; meets monthly to discuss patients with hearing loss and those whose hearing status is changing; meets quarterly to discuss patients who have recently become candidates for implantation, those preparing for implantation, and those in postimplantation stage; discussion includes medical status as well as supporting information, eg, ability to acquire language and communication skills, family circumstances, management of family problems in conjunction with pediatrician and social worker
Medical requirements for implantation: profound SNHL; minimal to no benefit from 3-mo trial of hearing aid; sufficiently patent cochlea; medical stability; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require pneumococcal vaccination; speaker prefers that pneumococcal, influenza, and meningococcal vaccines be current
Preimplantation evaluation: speech and language —speech pathologist reports on how babies appear to respond to environmental stimuli and on their efforts to begin oral communication; genetic testing — genetics experts communicate with team; developmental pediatrician — determines whether patient is good candidate developmentally, ie, whether development such that implant will make difference in child’s life; this allows parents to form realistic expectations for child’s progress; psychosocial evaluation of family — to determine whether parents or caregiver will follow through with child’s postoperative care and rehabilitation, eg, bring child back for appointments, ensure that child wears device, properly maintain device
Surgery: preoperative work-up — address cardiac abnormalities, if present; ensure patient will be stable during surgery; plan to work around anatomic abnormalities that may affect implantation; neural response telemetry — used intraoperatively to assess implant function (ie, implant effectively stimulating nerve); gives audiologist idea of where to start programming
Postoperative care: device activated 2 to 4 wk after surgery; ongoing speech therapy; repeated audiologic mapping; electronic adjustments to device; preparing device for use in classroom; transition from body-worn pack used in infants to ear-level battery pack used in older children; modification of ear pieces for comfort, if necessary; checking of skin for magnet-associated tissue necrosis
Future trends: ear-level battery packs, even for small children; transcutaneous implantation using robotic guidance; auditory brainstem implant for absent or damaged cochlear nerve; bone-anchored hearing aids
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