The Tullio phenomenon and perilymph fistula

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988 Jan;98(1):88-9. doi: 10.1177/019459988809800115.


Establishing the diagnosis of perilymph fistula remains a dilemma. At this time, identification of an active perilymph fistula can be confirmed only by surgery. On the basis of clinical history and audiovestibular testing, 54 patients underwent middle ear exploration for possible perilymph fistula at the Colorado Ear Clinic between July 1980 and June 1986. This group represents approximately 1% of all surgical procedures performed during that period. Seven patients (12%) were found to have the Tullio phenomenon preoperatively. Six of these were found to have active, free-flowing fistulas at the time of exploration. The presence of a Tullio phenomenon may be helpful in preoperative assessment of a patient with suspected perilymph fistula.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Evoked Response
  • Child
  • Electronystagmography
  • Female
  • Fistula / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Labyrinthine Fluids*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perilymph*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vertigo / etiology*