Tympanotomy with sealing of the round window as surgical salvage option in sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss

Acta Otolaryngol. 2013 Dec;133(12):1285-91. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2013.829921.


Conclusion: Tympanotomy with sealing of the round window is a promising surgical alternative as a salvage strategy in younger patients with acute idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and may be considered as an alternative drug delivery method to the round window.

Objectives: To analyze the potential benefit of the sealing of the round window with special emphasis on the age of treated patients and the influence of time elapsed between symptom onset and surgery.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 25 patients (13 males,12 females) with an average age of 55 years (range 31-75 years) with sudden SNHL, who underwent an enaural tympanotomy with sealing of the round niche using triamcinolone-soaked fascia. Pre- and postoperative bone conduction thresholds were compared for each frequency and for the pure-tone average (PTA) measured at 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 3 kHZ. The time (days) between primary symptom onset and surgery as well as age was scrutinized. Hearing improvement was described as 'no improvement' (0-9 dB), 'moderate recovery' (10-29 dB), or 'marked recovery' (≥30 dB). The difference in age of patients who improved was compared to those who did not.

Results: A statistically significant improvement in PTA values (mean change 20.4 dB) was noted (p = 0.0002). In all, 13/25 (52%) patients exhibited improved bone conduction postoperatively regardless of age and time of treatment. A marked recovery (≥30 dB) could be seen in eight patients (median time to surgery, 9 days; average age, 48.5 years); recovery between 10 and 30 dB in five patients (median time to surgery, 10 days; average age, 46.6 years). Twelve significantly older patients showed no improvement (average time to surgery, 19 days; average age, 61.8 years; p = 0.004). No patient over the age of 65 years showed improvement in bone conduction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / surgery*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Round Window, Ear / surgery*
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tympanic Membrane / surgery*