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Case report
Oval window perilymph fistula in child with recurrent meningitis and unilateral hearing loss


A 2-year-old boy presented to Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons with unilateral hearing loss. Following a prodrome of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), he developed two episodes of pneumococcal meningitis in quick succession. This case demonstrates an unusual cause of perilymph fistula diagnosed on imaging and confirmed surgically. He had failed the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme and was therefore referred to audiology, who confirmed profound sensorineural hearing loss in the right ear. MRI showed incomplete partitioning (type 1) of the right cochlea, suggesting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak from the region of the stapes. Exploratory tympanotomy confirmed this, and proceeded to CSF leak repair, obliteration of the Eustachian tube, subtotal petrosectomy, abdominal fat grafting and blind sac closure. Although middle ear effusions are common; particularly in children with recent URTI, the possibility of otogenic CSF leak needs to be considered, especially in cases of recurrent meningitis.

  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • radiology
  • congenital disorders

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