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Case report
Pneumolabyrinth: a rare complication of stapes surgery
  1. Patricia S Gomes1,
  2. Sergio Caselhos1,
  3. Ana Teresa Vide2 and
  4. Rui Fonseca1
  1. 1Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira Guimarães, Guimaraes, Portugal
  2. 2Neuroradiology, Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira Guimarães, Guimaraes, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patricia S Gomes; anapatriciasousagomes{at}


Pneumolabyrinth is the entrapment of air within the inner ear and is a rare complication of stapes surgery. We report the case of a patient submitted to stapedectomy who, 4 weeks later, suddenly developed right hearing loss, ipsilateral tinnitus and vertigo. On the physical examination, the patient showed no signs of vestibular deficits. Audiometry was compatible with right profound mixed hearing loss and high-resolution CT of the temporal bone revealed the presence of pneumolabyrinth. During exploratory tympanotomy, the prosthesis was found dislodged; the communication between the middle and inner ear was closed with vein graft and a new prosthesis was placed. Following surgery, vestibular symptoms was abolished and the patient experienced great improvement of the hearing thresholds.

  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • radiology
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  • Contributors PSG takes full responsibility for the integrity of the data presented. SC and RF contributed to the conception, analysis and interpretation of data. PSG and ATV were responsible for the drafting of the manuscript. All the authors revised the article for important intellectual content and gave their final approval of the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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