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Case report
Pneumolabyrinth: a rare complication of stapes surgery

Abstract

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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