Traumatic perilymphatic fistula: how long can symptoms persist? A follow-up report

M E Glasscock, M J Hart, J D Rosdeutscher, S A Bhansali
American Journal of Otology 1992, 13 (4): 333-8
In the past 18 years 68 ears (average 3.8 per year) were explored for perilymphatic fistula (PLF). A total of nine (13%) ears had a fistula identified at operation. Patients with a previous history of otologic surgery were excluded from this review. The most common etiology for PLF was head trauma (4 of 9). Most patients had persistent symptoms lasting months (average 6.7). Eighty-three percent of all patients had sudden or fluctuating hearing loss, 77 percent had vertigo or dysequilibrium, and 61 percent had tinnitus. Vertigo was the most commonly improved symptom postoperatively, and only 25 percent of patients had improved hearing. There were no major complications. The authors discuss indications for operation, criteria for diagnosis of PLF, and audiometric and electronystagmographic findings. This report agrees with other recent data indicating that exploration for fistula is an uncommon procedure performed by otologists.

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