Retrolabyrinthine vestibular nerve section: evaluation of technical modification in 143 cases

C D Nguyen, D E Brackmann, R T Crane, F H Linthicum, W E Hitselberger
American Journal of Otology 1992, 13 (4): 328-32
Selective vestibular nerve section is effective in relieving intractable vertigo while preserving hearing. Histologic study demonstrated overlap of the cochlear and vestibular fibers at the cochleovestibular cleavage plane within the posterior fossa. In the hopes of improving surgical results by sectioning these overlapping vestibular fibers, the technique of sectioning the vestibular division of the eighth nerve was modified to include a small portion of the cochlear division. We have evaluated 143 cases of retrolabyrinthine vestibular nerve section in which this technical modification was employed. A patient questionnaire was used to examine control of vertigo as well as changes in tinnitus, unsteadiness, and disability. Hearing preservation and incidence of complications were also reviewed. Resolution or improvement of vertigo occurred in 93 percent of Menièré's cases and 74 percent of non-Menièré's cases as compared to 97 percent and 68 percent, respectively, in the pre-1986 series.

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