Pneumolabyrinth as a postoperative complication of stapedoplasty

Diab KhMA1,2, Daykhes NA1, Pashchinina OA1, Zukhba AG1, Kokhanyuk SV1, Pirogova NE2
About authors

1 National Medical Research Center for Otorlaryngology of Federal Medical Biological Agency, Moscow, Russia

2 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Khassan M. A. Diab
Volokolamskoe shosse, 30, str. 2, Moscow, 123182, Russia; ur.liam@baidnasah

About paper

Author contribution: Diab KhMA — research design, surgical treatment of patients, manuscript editing; Daikhes NA — manuscript editing; Pashchinina OA, Zukhba AG — manuscript writing; Kokhanyuk SV, Pirogova NE — literature review.

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the National Medical Research Center for Otorhinolaryngology of FMBA (protocol № 03/22 dated June 20, 2022). The patients submitted the informed consent to surgery and personal data processing.

Received: 2022-06-14 Accepted: 2022-07-05 Published online: 2022-08-16

Pneumolabyrinth is characterized by the presence of air in the inner ear due to intrusion from the tympanic cavity. It is a rare complication of stapedoplasty. Currently, there is no clear algorithm for treatment of this complication. The paper reports two cases of pneumolabyrinth being the short-term and long-term postoperative complications. In the first case, the patient, who had undergone stapedoplasty in the left ear, suddenly developed rapid hearing loss and tinnitus in the left ear with dizziness three weeks after physical activity. Physical examination revealed no evidence of the tympanic membrane defect. Audiometry revealed left-sided IV degree of sensorineural hearing loss. Pneumolabyrinth was detected on the temporal bone CT scans. In the second case, vestibulocochlear symptoms developed three days after stapedoplasty in the right ear. Pure tone audiometry revealed right-sided IV degree of mixed hearing loss. CT scan of the temporal bone confirmed the diagnosis of pneumolabyrinth. In both cases the correct position of the stapedial prosthesis, "empty" vestibule and perilymphatic fistula were found during revision tympanotomy. The prosteses were removed during surgery, Dexamethasone solution was introduced into the vestibule; stapedoplasty with autocartilage on the perichondrium was performed. After surgery, vestibular symptoms disappeared, and hearing improved.

Keywords: sensorineural hearing loss, pneumolabyrinth, stapedoplasty, perilymphatic fistula, vestibulocochlear symptoms, pneumatization