Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: The Journal of laryngology and otology


Objective: Symptoms, including tinnitus, ear pain and vertigo, have been reported following exposure to wind turbine noise. This review addresses the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise and questions the existence of ‘wind turbine syndrome’. Design: This review is based on a search for articles published within the last 10 years, conducted using the PubMed database and Google Scholar search engine, which included in their title or abstract the terms ‘wind turbine’, ‘infrasound’ or ‘low frequency noise’. Results: There is evidence that infrasound has a physiological effect on the ear. Until this effect is fully understood, it is impossible to conclude that wind turbine noise does not cause any of the symptoms described. However, many believe that these symptoms are related largely to the stress caused by unwanted noise exposure. Conclusion: There is some evidence of symptoms in patients exposed to wind turbine noise. The effects of infrasound require further investigation.

Concepts: Google Scholar, Avicenna, Acoustics, Ear


Objective: To outline the management options and neurological complications associated with repeated traumatic falls that cause intrusion of bone-anchored hearing aid abutments. Case report: A three-year-old boy with coloboma, heart defects, atresia of nasal choanae, retarded growth, genital abnormalities, ear defects and deafness was fitted with a bone-anchored hearing aid for severe conductive hearing loss and congenital ear malformations. Six months later, a traumatic fall caused an intrusion injury which rendered the bone-anchored hearing aid abutment unusable. Without removing the original abutment, a second abutment was inserted on the same side to aid his hearing. Two years later, the child fell again and damaged his second bone-anchored hearing aid abutment. Having been offered a surgical option to repair the area, the parents opted to keep the abutments in situ. Conclusion: Direct trauma to the fixture of a bone-anchored hearing aid is a relatively common long-term complication in children which can disrupt osseointegration and disable the implant. For young children who are either prone to falling or have behavioural problems, a bone-anchored hearing aid Softband may be more appropriate to non-invasively aid hearing.

Concepts: Hearing impairment, Otology, Ear, Tinnitus, Sensorineural hearing loss, Conductive hearing loss, Audiology, Bone Anchored Hearing Aid


Background: A spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak can sometimes only become apparent following grommet insertion and usually represents dehiscence of the tegmen tympani, which is an uncommon condition. Objectives: This report aimed to reaffirm the importance of recognising this unusual presentation and outline management options. Case report: A 63-year-old man with conductive hearing loss and type B (flat) tympanometry underwent grommet insertion into his left ear, which resulted in cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea. A defect of the tegmen tympani was found. This was successfully repaired via a transmastoid approach using a multi-layered grafting technique. Conclusion: Dehiscence of the tegmen tympani is uncommon and may only come to light following grommet insertion, which may be problematic for the uninformed otolaryngologist. Education is important to ensure early recognition and appropriate management.

Concepts: Ear, Conductive hearing loss, Spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak


Background: Concha bullosa is the pneumatisation of intranasal conchae (usually the middle turbinate, and rarely the inferior or superior turbinate); however, the term is generally used to describe aeration of the middle concha. Superior concha bullosa is a rare finding, and only a few cases of inferior concha bullosa have been reported in the medical literature. When symptomatic, concha bullosa may cause various problems including nasal congestion, headache, postnasal drip, anosmia and, sometimes, epiphora. Methodology: Computed tomography, following history-taking and physical examination, is a valuable tool in diagnosing turbinate pneumatisation. This article presents a very rare case with bilateral triple conchae pneumatisations. Results: The symptomatology, diagnosis and treatment options for cases of multiple concha bullosa are discussed. The surgical interventions performed in the presented case are briefly described. Conclusion: The presented patient had pneumatisation of all six turbinates. In such cases, we propose that this condition be termed ‘conchae bullosis’ rather than ‘conchae bullosa’, in a similar fashion to the use of nasal polyposis as the plural form of nasal polyp.

Concepts: Sinusitis, Medical imaging, English language, Case, Physical examination, Medical history, Concha bullosa, Grammatical number


Objectives: Allergic reactions to Prolene are rare. This paper reports a nasal tip abscess which developed in a patient with an adverse skin reaction to Prolene after rhinoplasty. Methods and results: A 26-year-old woman presented with painful, progressive nasal tip swelling and redness. She had undergone septo-rhinoplasty two years previously. She was initially treated with endonasal drainage of the abscess and antibiotics, but a revision rhinoplasty three months later became necessary because of recurrent abscess formation. Intra-operative findings included granulation tissue with pockets of pus and knotted Prolene sutures at the tip-defining points of the lower lateral cartilages. She was patch-tested with Prolene and a cutaneous Prolene suture was placed on her back; an adverse skin reaction was seen for the latter. Conclusion: Use of non-absorbable sutures, such as Prolene, in the subcutaneous layer may be a potential, rare risk factor for adverse skin reactions.

Concepts: Collagen, Allergy, Skin, Tissue, Term, Nose, Surgical suture, Dermis


Introduction: The recurrent laryngeal nerve can be injured during surgery. This study investigated recurrent laryngeal nerve reinnervation. Objective: To study the short-term effects of primary anastomosis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, by laryngeal electromyography and histopathological analysis, in a rabbit model. Method: Twenty Zealand rabbits underwent either right recurrent laryngeal nerve (1) transection with excision of 1 cm or (2) transection and end-to-end primary anastomosis. Vocal fold movements, laryngeal electromyography results and histological changes were recorded. Results: Vocal fold analysis showed a paramedian vocal fold in both groups, with perceptible vibratory movements in group two. Electromyography revealed total denervation potentials in group one, but denervation and regeneration signs in group two. Histopathologically, hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis of the vocal fold mucosa were seen in group one, and signs of parakeratosis and hyperplasia in group two. Conclusion: Even under ideal conditions for primary recurrent laryngeal nerve anastomosis, a return to normal muscle function is unlikely. However, such anastomosis prevents muscle atrophy, and should be performed as soon as possible. The degree of nerve recovery is associated with the number, amplitude and myelination level of fibrils returning to the original motor end-plaque.

Concepts: Surgery, Muscle, Anatomical pathology, Histopathology, Muscle atrophy, Larynx, Recurrent laryngeal nerve, Superior laryngeal nerve


Objective: To present and evaluate the use of nasal dermoplasty for control of recurrent nasal polyps. Study design: Prospective case series. Method: The mucosa of the fovea ethmoidalis and the lamina papyracea was replaced by a split-thickness skin graft. The follow-up period ranged from 2 to 12 months. Results: Five patients underwent nasal dermoplasty for recurrent nasal polyposis. In three cases, the graft uptake was successful. Post-operatively, four patients reported they were in better condition than at the same interval after their previous operation. Recurrence of polyps was noted in all patients but not in the grafted areas. Conclusion: In this study, there was a high prevalence of successful graft uptake following nasal dermoplasty. This technique may have potential for the control of recurrent nasal polyps. Although it is demanding and time-consuming, it may reduce the need for multiple operations. Further research is justified to establish its efficacy.

Concepts: Scientific method, English-language films, Grafting, Case, Nasal polyp, Recurrence relation, Case series, Justin Timberlake


Background: Sore throat is a common condition associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection, and recurrent episodes of infection may result in chronic tonsillitis. The current UK and USA guidelines for tonsillectomy use the incidence of sore throat episodes as an indication for surgery. However, the mechanism of sore throat is poorly described in the literature. Objectives: This review will provide basic information for the clinician regarding: the causes, pathophysiology and neurophysiology of sore throat; the mechanism of inflammation; and the role of transient receptor potential ion channels as nociceptors involved in sore throat. The review will present new ideas on the mechanism of ice therapy as an analgesic for post-tonsillectomy pain, and the role of vanilloid and cold receptors.

Concepts: Ion channel, Respiratory system, Upper respiratory tract, Upper respiratory tract infection, Receptors, CBC Radio One, Transient receptor potential channel, Tonsillectomy


Objective: To determine noise intensity during middle-ear aspiration in order to evaluate whether levels can be potentially harmful. Methods: In this prospective, observational study, middle-ear effusion was aspirated following myringotomy using a suction instrument with a probe tube microphone. Sound pressure levels and duration were measured, and frequency domain analysis was performed. Results: Forty-four ears were analysed, consisting of 20 with mucoid effusion, 11 with serous effusion and 13 with no effusion. Maximum peak sound intensity ranged from 84 to 157 dB. Half of the ears (50 per cent) were exposed to greater than 140 dB; of these, 82 per cent were exposed for longer than 0.2 ms (range, 0.05-14 ms). There was no significant difference in sound pressure level between ears with mucoid and serous effusion; however, ears with mucoid effusion required longer suction times (p < 0.0030). In addition, peak intensity was greater for ears with mucoid effusion versus those with serous or no effusion (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Middle-ear aspiration during myringotomy caused noise levels within a potentially harmful range.

Concepts: Ear, Sound, Sound pressure, Sound intensity, Microphone, Level, Sound power, Particle displacement


Objectives: Using American bullfrog models under normal conditions and under vestibular dysfunction, we investigated whether mechanical vibration applied to the ear could induce otoconial dislodgement. Methods: Vibration was applied to the labyrinth of the bullfrog using a surgical drill. The time required for the otoconia to dislodge from the utricular macula was measured. Vestibular dysfunction models were created and the dislodgement time was compared with the normal models. The morphology of the utricular macula was also investigated. Results: In the normal models, the average time for otoconial dislodgement to occur was 7 min and 36 s; in the vestibular dysfunction models, it was 2 min and 11 s. Pathological investigation revealed that the sensory hairs of the utricle were reduced in number and that the sensory cells became atrophic in the vestibular dysfunction models. Conclusion: The otoconia of the utricle were dislodged into the semicircular canal after applying vibration. The time to dislodgement was significantly shorter in the vestibular dysfunction models than in the normal models; the utricular macula sustained significant morphological damage.

Concepts: Vestibular system, Ear, Inner ear, Mode shape, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Otolith, Utricle