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Vol. 84. Num. 4.July - August 2018Pages 401-528
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Vol. 84. Num. 4.July - August 2018Pages 401-528
Review article
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2017.12.005
Degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery – a review
Grau de melhora do zumbido com estapedectomia – uma revisão
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Aliciane Mota G. Cavalcantea, Isabella Monteiro de Castro Silvaa, Bianca Jessica Nevesa, Carlos Augusto Oliveirab, Fayez Bahmad Jra,c,d,
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fayezbjr@gmail.com

Corresponding author.
a Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Ciências Médicas, Brasília, DF, Brazil
b Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Escola de Pós-Graduação, Brasília, DF, Brazil
c Harvard Medical School, Otology and Neurotology, Boston, United States
d Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Brasília, DF, Brazil
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Table 1. Articles, type of Scales, evaluation time post-operative and results.
Abstract
Introduction

Otospongiosis is temporal bone osteodystrophy, characterized by disordered bone resorption and neoformation in genetically predisposed individuals. Clinically, otospongiosis is characterized by progressive conductive and/or mixed hearing loss and by tinnitus.

Objective

A review of the last two decades of publications that report the degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery.

Methods

125 articles published in the last 20 years mentioning the relationship between otosclerosis and tinnitus. Literature has always shown that the hearing improvement after stapes surgery was the main result sought and found. However, recent articles has reinforced the need for surgery for the tinnitus improvement. The ideal time to assess tinnitus through different scales is in the sixth month post-operative. The estimated average hearing improvement is 93% and tinnitus is 85.52%.

Results

Summaries of 12 articles were reviewed which fulfilled the search criteria of the survey, and 8 studies were included in the study according the selection criteria. This studies investigating the degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery, using different scales as: tinnitus functional index, visual analog scale, tinnitus functional index and visual analog scale, visual analog scale and “questionnaire asking about tinnitus”, Newman's method and Tinnitus Score Advocated by the Japan Audiological Society. The total of the samples of the evaluated articles was of 254 participants.

Conclusion

We conclude that stapes surgery is effective for the treatment of tinnitus (average improvement is 85.52%), and hearing loss (average improvement is 93%). When deciding about the surgical indication in patients with otosclerosis, the presence and level tinnitus should be considered as well as the level of hearing.

Keywords:
Otosclerosis
Tinnitus
Stapes surgery
Resumo
Introdução

A otosclerose é uma osteodistrofia do osso temporal, caracterizada pela reabsorção e neoformação óssea desordenadas em indivíduos geneticamente predispostos. Clinicamente, a otosclerose é caracterizada por perda auditiva progressiva condutiva e/ou mista e por zumbido.

Objetivo

Uma revisão das últimas duas décadas de publicações que relatam o grau de melhora do zumbido com a estapedectomia

Método

Foram analisados 125 artigos publicados nos últimos 20 anos que mencionavam a relação entre otosclerose e zumbido. A literatura sempre mostrou a melhoria auditiva como principal objetivo e resultado da estapedectomia. No entanto, artigos recentes reforçaram a necessidade de cirurgia para a melhoria do zumbido. O momento ideal para avaliar o zumbido através de diferentes escalas é no sexto mês pós-operatório. A melhoria auditiva média estimada é de 93% e a do zumbido, de 85,52%.

Resultados

Foram revisados resumos de 12 artigos que preencheram os critérios de pesquisa, sendo incluídos no estudo 8 artigos de acordo com os critérios de seleção. Este estudo investiga o grau de melhora do zumbido com a estapedectomia, utilizando diferentes escalas: tinnitus functional index, escala visual analógica, tinnitus functional index e escala visual analógica, escala visual analógica e “questionário sobre o zumbido”, método de Newman e o Tinnitus Score Advocated, da Sociedade Audiológica do Japão (Japan Audiological Society). O total das amostras dos artigos avaliados foi de 254 participantes.

Conclusão

Concluímos que a estapedectomia é bastante eficaz no tratamento do zumbido (melhora média de 85,52%) e perda auditiva (melhora média de 93%). Ao decidir sobre a indicação cirúrgica em pacientes com otosclerose, a presença e o nível de zumbido devem ser considerados, assim como o nível de audição.

Palavras-chave:
Otosclerose
Zumbido
Estapedectomia
Full Text
Introduction

Otospongiosis is temporal bone osteodystrophy, characterized by disordered bone resorption and neoformation in genetically predisposed individuals. All the otic capsule may be involved, although the area close to the fissula ante fenestram (anterior to the oval window) is the most commonly affected site.

Clinically, otospongiosis is characterized by progressive conductive and/or mixed hearing loss and by tinnitus Sensorineural hearing loss, aural fullness and vertigo may eventually occur.

Tinnitus is an abnormal sound sensation that some patients with hearing loss experience. Patients with otosclerosis may experience variable degrees of tinnitus associated with their hearing loss. Gristwood et al.1 reported that 65% of patients with hearing loss due to otosclerosis have tinnitus based on a review of 1014 consecutive cases of clinical otosclerosis.

Then Deuyer et al. reported that tinnitus prevalence is estimated to be 65–85%.2 Previous studies have indicated that tinnitus does decrease when hearing improves after stapedectomy.2 Several studies have been talking about the high prevalence of tinnitus and the degree of discomfort in patients with otosclerosis and improvement after surgery. However, only a few previous studies in general have delineated the time frame of tinnitus improvement or quantified the improvement using a validated tinnitus instrument in a prospective fashion. The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate the result of publications that report the degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery, with emphasis on the type of method used and the evaluation period.

Methods

Searches were conducted in the databases PubMed, using the extracted descriptors of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) that characterized the theme: otosclerosis AND stapes surgery OR stapedotomy AND tinnitus.

The inclusion criteria of the studies were: articles in English; published in the last 20 years; prospective study and clinical studies in adults with emphasis on the otosclerosis, stapes surgery and scales to measure the degree of tinnitus improvement. Retrospective studies were excluded.

Results

Summaries of 12 articles were reviewed which fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the survey, and 8 studies were included in the study according the inclusion criteria. Fig. 1 shows the flow diagram for inclusion.

Figure 1.
(0.22MB).

Diagrama PRISMA showing the selection and type of scale used in the review.

Characteristics of studies

This review found eight studies investigating the degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery, using different scales. The stapes surgery were stapedectomy and stapedotomy. The articles used different scales as: Tinnitus Functional Index-TFI, Visual Analog Scale-VAS, TFI and VAS, VAS and “questionnaire asking about tinnitus”, Newman's method and Tinnitus Score Advocated by the Japan Audiological Society.

In the 1st month of postoperative evaluation, the results varied between 75% and 88% improvement in tinnitus. In the 6th month, between 85% and 88.3%.

Sakai et al. did not mention the evaluation period. In this article, the degree of improvement was 68%.

Sanchez et al. reported that the improvement around the 3rd month was of 95.7%, being the period of greatest degree observed among all the articles.

In studies in which the evaluation was done between 4 and 10 months; 4 and 14 months and 14 and 48 months, the degree of tinnitus improvement varied from 90 to 91%.

The total of the samples of the evaluated articles was of 254 participants (Table 1).

Table 1.

Articles, type of Scales, evaluation time post-operative and results.

Title  Author/year of publication  Type of Scale  Sample size  Evaluation time post operative  Degree of tinnitus improvement 
Stapedectomy Effects on Tinnitus: Relationship of Change in Loudness to Change in Severity2  Dewyer et al., 2015  TFI and VAS  35  1 and 6 months  1 month-75%
6 months-88% 
Tinnitus modulation by stapedectomy3  Chang et al., 2014  TFI  16  1 and 6 months  1 month-88%
6 months-85% 
Characteristics and postoperative course of tinnitus in otosclerosis4  Ayache et al., Earally, Elbaz, 2003  TFI  62  1 and 6 months  1 month-83.4%
6 months-88.3% 
Outcome of stapes surgery for tinnitus recovery in otosclerosis5  Rajati, Poursadegh, Bakhshaee, Abbasi, Shahab, 2012  Newman's method  29  1 month  82.8% 
The effect of stapedotomy on tinnitus in patints with otospongiosis6  Sanchez, Bento, Lima, Marcondes, 2005  VAS  23  3 months  95.7% 
Long-Term Follow-Up of Tinnitus in Patients with Otosclerosis After Stapes Surgery7  Sobrinho, Oliveira, Venosa, 2004  Questionnaire asking about tinnitus, VAS  48  4–14 months; 14–48 months  4–14 months-91%;
14–48 months-91% 
How does stapes surgery influence severe disabling tinnitus in otosclerosis patients?8  Oliveira, 2007  VAS  19*  4–10 months  4–10 months-90% 
The effect on tinnitus of stapes surgery for otosclerosis9  Sakai, Sato, Iida, Ogata, Ishida, 1995  Tinnitus score advocated by the Japan Audiological Society  22  No mentioned  68% 
Discussion

Although tinnitus is often related to otosclerosis, it has been infrequently discussed in the literature. However, it represents a major source of discomfort for a few patients, who are often inquisitive about the course of this symptom.2

No postoperative tinnitus was observed in patients who were free of tinnitus preoperatively, but this factor did not seem to be statistically significant as a predictive indicator of the course of tinnitus. This finding was also noted by Kersley and Gray,10 but Del Bo et al.11 mentioned that tinnitus occurred later after surgery in 7% of patients who were free of tinnitus in the immediate postoperative period.

Shea12 and Causse and Vincent13 tried to correlate pitch of preoperative tinnitus in otosclerosis patients and decrease of this symptom after stapes surgery. Both stated that only low-tone tinnitus is affected by stapes surgery. Causse and Vincent indicated that this kind of tinnitus is related to the elasticity of the oval-window mechanism, which is corrected by stapes surgery.

In a temporal-bone study searching for a pathological correlate for tinnitus, Oliveira and Schuknecht14 found endolymphatic hydrops in 18% of the bones studied, normal histopathology in 11%, and otosclerosis in 11%. These were the major histopathological diagnoses found in tinnitus patients. If we consider that tinnitus starts with a biochemical alteration in the inner-ear fluids, which in the beginning will not be detectable by light miscroscopy but later is seen as endolymphatic hydrops, and that otosclerotic focuses in the cochlea provoke these biochemical changes in endolymph and perilymph, these major histopathological diagnosis found in temporal bones of tinnitus patients were tie together. If the foregoing explanation is true, the only way in which stapes surgery can influence tinnitus in otosclerosis patients is by changing the conductive part of the equation.

Again, Oliveira and Schuknecht14 found better preservation of sensory and neural structures in patients with tinnitus than in patients with the same histopathological diagnosis but without tinnitus. Possibly, tinnitus is a very early sign of cochlear lesion and tends to decrease as the lesion worsens. Of course, the ideas discussed in the preceding paragraphs are far from being proved, but we believe that they comprise an interesting hypothesis to be investigated.

Conclusion

This review of 254 cases of otosclerosis showed through different scales and in different moments that stapes surgery was valuable in the improvement of tinnitus, which was observed in 85.52% of patients with preoperative tinnitus.

The primary indication for stapes surgery is to improve hearing.4

So, when deciding about the surgical indication in patients with otosclerosis, the presence and level of tinnitus should be considered as well as the level of hearing, as we have concluded that the stapes surgery can also alleviate tinnitus in most otosclerotic patients.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References
[1]
R.E. Gristwood,W.N. Venables
Otosclerosis and chronic tinnitus
Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 112 (2003), pp. 398-403 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/000348940311200502
[2]
N.A. Dewyer,R. Kiringoda,Y.A. Kram,J.L. Chang,C.Y.J. Chang,S.W. Cheung
Stapedectomy effects on tinnitus: relationship of change in loudness to change in severity
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 153 (2015), pp. 1019-1023 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0194599815591532
[3]
C.J. Chang,S.W. Cheung
Tinnitus modulation by stapedectomy
Otol Neurotol, 35 (2014), pp. 1065-1069 http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAO.0000000000000370
[4]
D. Ayache,F. Earally,P. Elbaz
Characteristics and postoperative course of tinnitus in otosclerosis
Otol Neurotol, 24 (2003), pp. 48-51
[5]
M. Rajati,M. Poursadegh,M. Bakhshaee,A. Abbasi,A. Shahabi
Outcome of stapes surgery for tinnitus recovery in otosclerosis
Int Tinnitus J, 17 (2012), pp. 42-46
[6]
S. Lima Ada,T.G. Sanchez,R. Marcondes,R.F. Bento
The effect of stapedotomy on tinnitus in patients with otospongiosis
Ear Nose Throat J, 84 (2005), pp. 412-414
[7]
P.G. Sobrinho,C.A. Oliveira,A.R. Venosa
Long-term follow-up of tinnitus in patients with otosclerosis after stapes surgery
Int Tinnitus J, 10 (2004), pp. 197-201
[8]
C.A. Oliveira
How does stapes surgery influence severe disabling tinnitus in otosclerosis patients?
Adv Otorhinolaryngol, 65 (2007), pp. 343-347 http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000098858
[9]
M. Sakai,M. Sato,M. Iida,T. Ogata,K. Ishida
The effect on tinnitus of stapes surgery for otosclerosis
Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol (Bord), 116 (1995), pp. 27-30
[10]
J.A. Kersley,A.J. Gray
Stapedectomy: a review with a preliminary report on the piston operation
J Laryngol Otol, 78 (1964), pp. 374-383
[11]
M. Del Bo,A. Zaghis,U. Ambrosetti
Some observations concerning 200 stapedectomies: fifteen years postoperatively
[12]
J.J. Shea
Otosclerosis and tinnitus
J Laryngol, 0101 (1981), pp. 149-150
[13]
I.B. Causse,R. Vincent
Poor vibration of inner ear fluids as a cause of low tone tinnitus
Am J Otol, 16 (1995), pp. 701-702
[14]
C.A. Oliveira,H.F. Schuknecht,R.J. Glynn
In search of cochlear morphologic correlates for tinnitus
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 116 (1990), pp. 937-939

Please cite this article as: Cavalcante AM, Silva IM, Neves BJ, Oliveira CA, Bahmad FJr. Degree of tinnitus improvement with stapes surgery – a review. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2018;84:514–8.

Peer Review under the responsibility of Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial.

Copyright © 2017. Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial
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Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology (English Edition)

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