Remote communication in ENT has been expanding, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conferences and teaching have moved online, enabling easier participation, and reducing financial and environmental costs. Online multi-disciplinary meetings have recently been instigated in Africa to discuss management of cases in head and neck cancer, or cochlear implantation, expanding access and enhancing patient care. Remote patient consultation has also seen an explosion, but existing literature suggests some caution, particularly because many patients in ENT need an examination to enable definitive diagnosis. Ongoing experience and more research is needed to better understand how remote communication will fit into our future working lives, both during and after the pandemic.
Background A dose of 5mg/kg lidocaine is considered appropriate for paediatric airway topicalisation. Existing literature suggests younger children are susceptible to toxic lidocaine plasma levels and achieve this at a faster rate. Aims The primary outcome of this study was to ascertain peak plasma lidocaine levels after topicalisation for airway endoscopy. Secondary endpoints included: time to peak lidocaine plasma levels, signs of lidocaine toxicity (restricted to ECG changes or seizures when under anaesthesia) and clinical adverse events of laryngospasm, coughing or desaturation during the procedure. Methods Data was collected prospectively over 18 months at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Children aged 0-8 years undergoing elective diagnostic or therapeutic airway endoscopy were included within the study. Standardised 2% lidocaine was used for airway topicalisation. Dose varied depending upon practitioner usual practice. Venous blood sampling occurred at 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes post administration and plasma lidocaine levels (ng/ml) analysed. Results A significant relationship exists between higher peak plasma levels and ages <18 months (p=0.00973). Strong linear correlation exists between weight and age for our cohort (r=0.88). Higher peak plasma lidocaine levels occur with total dose volumes between 2 and 3mls of 2% lidocaine local anaesthetic (p=0.03) compared with <2ml total dose volumes. Data suggests a potential relationship of lower weights achieving higher peak plasma levels (p=0.0516). Reduced IQR variation of peak plasma lidocaine levels exists when lidocaine dosing is <5mg/kg. Conclusions Age and total dose volume of topicalised lidocaine have a significant relationship with plasma lidocaine levels. A dose of 5mg/kg topicalised lidocaine for paediatric airway endoscopy is safe and provides good operating conditions. Lower patient weights trend toward higher peak lidocaine plasma concentrations and require further investigation.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify factors that could influence the repair of eardrum perforation using cartilage graft (or cartilage tympanoplasty) in children. Methods: A cohort of children operated on between January 1998 and December 2012 was reviewed. We have studied the repair rate of the eardrum (anatomical result) and the hearing level with audiometric tests (functional result) at 1 year and 3 years after surgery. These results were correlated with size or location of the perforation, status of the contralateral ear, gender, allergies, cleft palate, craniofacial anomalies, expertise of the surgeon (junior, senior) and perioperative observations (mucosa, glue, etc.). Results: 1240 tympanoplasties were selected from the database, of which 139 ears (127 patients) could be analysed (perforation without concurrent disease, authorisation from patients obtained and sufficient information reported). Mean age at surgery was 9.6 years ± 2.6 (range 4-16). At one year, 129/139 (93%) tympanic membranes were closed and 112/139 (81%) were satisfactory (no residual perforation, nor retraction, cholesteatoma, myringitis or OME). Air-bone gap was < 20 dB in 102/127 ears (80%). At 3 years, the eardrum was closed in 64/66 (97%) ears (reperforation in one case) and 82% were satisfactory. Myringitis occurred in 5% and 9% of cases at one- and three-year follow-up. Surgery before the age of 8 years was the only risk factor of a non-satisfactory result at one-year follow-up (p = 0.024). Conclusions: Long-term results were satisfactory; the only risk factor was surgery before eight years of age. In the child, long-term yearly follow-up is necessary after tympanic perforation.
Objectives We set out to create Consensus Guidelines, based on current evidence and relative risks of adverse effects and the costs of different treatments, that reflect the views of the British Rhinological Society (BRS) Council on where the use of biologics should be positioned within treatment pathways for CRSwNP, specifically in the setting of the National Health Service (NHS). Methods An expert panel of 16 members was assembled. A review of the literature and evidence synthesis was undertaken and circulated to the panel We used the RAND/UCLA methodology with a multi-step process to make recommendations on the use of biologics. Setting and participants N/A Results Recommendations were made, based on underlying disease severity, prior treatments and co-morbidities. A group of patients for whom biologics were considered an appropriate treatment option for CRSwNP was defined. Conclusions Although biologics are not currently available for the treatment of CRSwNP, the BRS Council have defined a group of patients who have higher rates of ‘failure’ with current treatment pathways, higher resource use and are more likely to suffer with uncontrolled symptoms. We would urge NICE to consider approval of biologics for such indications without applying further restrictions on use.
Objectives: Smell/taste disturbances are a common but underrated, under-researched and under treated sensory loss and an independent risk factor for reduced longevity. This study aimed to characterise the experience of patients these disorders in seeking help. Design: The study was designed by patients together with clinicians through a dedicated workshop and conducted as a cross-sectional survey to capture experiences in public and private healthcare settings internationally. Setting: Primary, secondary and tertiary care. Participants: Any members of the public self-reporting a smell/taste disorder were invited to participate. Main outcome measures: The survey captured information including experience of getting consultations and referrals to medical professionals, treatments offered, costs incurred and related problems with mental health. Results: Of 673 participants; 510 female, 160 male, self-reported aetiology included sinonasal disease (24%), idiopathic (24%) and post-viral olfactory dysfunction (22%); true gustatory disorders were typically rare. Failure of medical professionals to recognise the problem was a key concern - 64%, 76% and 47% of GPs, ENT specialists and Neurologists acknowledged respectively. Other issues included repeated ineffective treatments, difficulties getting referrals to secondary/tertiary care, mental health problems (60%) and a mean personal cost of £421 to seeking advice and treatment. Whilst the participants were self-selecting, however they do represent those who are seeking help and intervention for their disorders. Conclusion: There is an unmet need for these patients in accessing healthcare including a clear need to improve education of and engagement with the medical profession in Otorhinolaryngology, General Practice and other specialties, in order to remove the current barriers they face.
Objectives - The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in surgical capacity for head and neck cancer in the UK between the first wave (March-June 2020) and the current wave (Jan-Feb 2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design – REDcap online based survey of hospital capacity. Setting - UK secondary and tertiary hospitals providing head and neck cancer surgery. Participants – One representative per hospital was asked to report the capacity for head and neck cancer surgery in that institution. Main outcome measures – The principal measures of interests were new patient referrals, capacity in outpatients, theatres and critical care; therapeutic compromises constituting delay to surgery, de-escalated surgery and therapeutic migration to non-surgical primary modality. Results – Data was returned from approximately 95% of UK hospitals with a head and neck cancer surgery specialist service. 50% of UK head and neck cancer patients requiring surgery have significantly compromised treatments during the second wave: 28% delayed, 10% have received radiotherapy based treatment instead of surgery and 12% have received de-escalated surgery. Surgical capacity has been more severely constrained in the second wave (58% of pre-pandemic level) compared with the first wave (62%) despite the time to prepare. Conclusions - Some hospitals are overwhelmed by COVID-19 and unable to offer essential cancer surgery, but all have neighbouring hospitals in their region retaining good (or even normal) capacity. It is noteworthy that very few patients have been appropriately re-directed away from the hospitals most constrained by their burden of COVID-19. The paucity of an effective central or regional strategic response to this evident mismatch between demand and surgical capacity is to the detriment of our head and neck cancer patients.
Key points· Simultaneous translabyrinthine tumor resection and cochlear implantation is a promising treatment method with hearing rehabilitation for sporadic vestibular schwannomas.· Size of vestibular schwannoma, distance to the modiolus, residual hearing and promontory stimulation electrical brainstem response audiometry are important preoperative predictive factors for chance of cochlear implantation. · Electrically evoked brain stem response audiometry with an intracochlear test electrode is an important additional tool during vestibular schwannoma resection to decide on cochlear implantation. Sporadic vestibular schwannomas (VS) can be treated using radiation therapy, microsurgical resection, or a wait-and-scan approach. Most VS will require treatment after some period of observation. However, the currently available treatment options carry a high risk of loss of serviceable hearing. Some authors believe that the possibility of cochlear implantation in the setting of VS should completely change the treatment strategy for this disease(1). However, patient outcomes with CIs show a wide variation—with some patients having no auditory perception, while others exhibit open-set speech understanding(2). The intraoperative testing of cochlear nerve function using electrically evoked brainstem response audiometry (eABR) provides a means of objectively assessing cochlear nerve conduction, and has been increasingly applied in this setting(2, 3). In the present study, we aimed to assess outcomes of patients undergoing vestibular schwannoma resection and cochlear implantation, and to develop a new scoring system to preoperatively identify suitable patients for this treatment course. Appropriate preoperative classification of patients can have important impacts on patient counseling and expectations.DesignEach study participant gave their informed consent to participate. The trial was approved by the local ethics committee 1111/2017, and is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03745560). All 17 patients underwent translabyrinthine vestibular schwannoma resection, during which eABR were recorded with an intracochlear test electrode (ITE) before and after tumor resection. In cases with positive responses after complete tumor resection, a cochlear implant (CI) was placed. Overall, ten patients received a CI with a Flex 28 or Flex Standard electrode (MED-EL, Innsbruck, Austria) depending on cochlear duct length. Data availability statement The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.SettingThe study was conducted at a tertiary care center.Participants Seventeen patients with unilateral sporadic VS were screened between January 2017 and January 2020 (see Table 1). Inclusion criteria were as follows: sporadic vestibular schwannoma, no ipsilateral functional hearing, desire to undergo cochlear implantation, and general good health. Exclusion criteria were prior treatment for vestibular schwannoma, neurofibromatosis type 2, history of pathology requiring multiple head magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or history of malignant disease of the head and neck. A lack of functional hearing was defined as ≤50% monosyllable recognition at 80 dB HL. Main outcome measuresThe patients’ preoperative findings and results were re-evaluated to develop a new scoring system for patient selection. All patients underwent MRI of the brain performed using a 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance (MR) unit (Philips Achieva; Philips Medical Systems, Best, the Netherlands). To visualize the cerebellopontine angle, the MR protocol included a 3D balanced fast field echo sequence that was used for further assessment. Using a picture archiving and communication system (IMPAX; AGFA HealthCare, Bonn, Germany), all MR examinations were anonymized and randomly presented to a neuroradiologist who was not aware of any clinical data. Grading according to four-grade Koos classification system was carried out (4). Additionally, a four level grading system was used to evaluate intrameatal extension towards the modiolus (Table 2).Promontory stimulation eABR was performed with a gold coated rigid electrode with a rounded-bent (hockey stick) tip stimulation probe manufactured by MED-EL (Innsbruck, Austria) and recorded with the Neuropack, Nihon Kohden, Tokyo. A positive response is defined as a clear wave V reproducible in latency and amplitude. In cases with a wave V that can only be seen at high stimulation intensities or that is not reproducible an unclear response is documented. No identifiable wave V is defined as a negative response.The pure-tone average (4-PTA) was calculated as the mean for each patient, using the results at frequencies of 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz. Monosyllables were measured at 65 and 80 dB HL. Based on these results, patients were categorized in four groups as seen in Table 2. STARD guidelines were followed when reporting the data of this study. ResultsAfter six months of follow-up, ten patients were daily users of the CI. Their mean aided pure-tone average was 38 dB HL, and their mean WRS was 28% at 65 dB, and 52% at 80 dB. Outcomes for individual patients can be seen in Table 3. Nine of the ten patients had open-set speech understanding. The patient without open-set speech understanding has significant hearing loss on the contralateral side and a language barrier. Facial nerve outcomes according to House Brackman (HB) are shown in Table 3. In all cases, the six-month follow-up MRI showed no sign of residual or recurrent tumor. The scoring system Table 2 shows the scoring system that was developed. Besides Koos grading, results of promontory stimulation eABR were included. Our system also evaluated residual hearing, which is an important factor reflecting the state of the nerve and the cochlea before an intervention. Further, we identified relation to the modiolus as a predictive factor. Table 4 shows the scoring system applied to the presented patients. DiscussionVarious advancements over recent years have made CI a good option for restoring binaural hearing in patients with VS. Imaging sequences have been improved and CI magnets have been developed to reduce metal artifacts(5) and allow postoperative evaluation of the internal auditory canal and cerebellopontine angle for tumor follow-up(6). Another recent development is the possible use of intraoperative eABR with an ITE, enabling objective assessment of cochlear nerve functionality(2, 3). In the past, the outcome of CIs in the context of VS was considered unpredictable, and many patients did not benefit from this technique. However, the advent of testing systems, such as intraoperative eABR, permits more precise evaluation of possible outcomes. Although simultaneous VS resection and cochlear implantation is possible with only visual assessment of the cochlear nerve(7), eABR measurements are a useful tool for objectifying the surgeon’s assessment. Only two prior studies have described the use of eABR during translabyrinthine VS resection(2, 8). One study included eight patients(8). The other was a pilot study by our research group(2). In this previous manuscript, we demonstrate the intraoperative objective evaluation of the cochlear nerve with eABR, using an ITE, during translabyrinthine VS resection and cochlear implantation(2). Our preliminary results indicated that positive eABR results (clear wave V) seem to be reliable, and to correlate well with CI-aided auditory perception. This thesis was further supported by the results of our present study, in which all patients with positive eABR results and who received an implant showed auditory perception with their CI, and most (90%) even have open-set speech understanding. A remaining major challenge is to identify patients with a high chance of cochlear nerve preservation. Therefore, as a logical next step, the knowledge gained in this study was used to create a grading system with the aim of preoperatively determining candidacy, as was performed herein.Individuals with residual speech understanding were more likely to have positive eABR results, and to receive a CI. These results are in line with the findings of Sanna et al(7). In their study, individuals with good functional hearing underwent translabyrinthine VS resection and cochlear implantation. After tumor removal, surgeons evaluated the cochlear nerve and visually determined whether it was intact(7). Of the nineteen included patients, thirteen were able to receive a CI, of whom 84% use their CI daily or almost daily(7). Another identified predictive factor was the VS extension towards the cochlear modiolus. This anatomic structure also reportedly plays an important role when assessing CI candidacy in cases of malformation,(9) as well as the need of its preservation in intracochlear VSs(10). Obviously, tumor resection is increasingly challenging with greater VS size, reducing the possibility of nerve protection reflected by Koos grading. The last category of our scoring system was promontory stimulation. One issue with promontory stimulation is that it produces a substantial number of artefacts in awake patients. Another problem is that some patients do not tolerate stimulation well, leading to a wide variety of stimulations intensities between different individuals. Artefacts and said stimulation range diminish the interpretation possibilities and reliability of the results. One limitation of the present study was the relatively small sample size on which the scoring system was based. Nevertheless, this study represents the largest group of patients with vestibular schwannomas, in whom eABR was intraoperatively performed. As well as the first study assessing predictive factors for cochlear implantation which can be assessed preoperatively.Overall, our results indicated that patients with a Class I scoring had a very high chance of receiving a CI. Among patients categorized as Class II (6–8 points according to our system), the majority could be implanted, but they had a distinctly worse chance of receiving an implant, and thus careful counseling is essential in these cases. Patients categorized as Class III and IV were not able to be implanted with a CI. ConclusionSimultaneous translabyrinthine VS excision and cochlear implantation using intraoperative eABR measurements is a good option for hearing rehabilitation and provides binaural hearing. Preoperative accurate assessment of the size and extent of VS, audiometric testing, and promontory stimulation eABR improves preoperative patient selection, help manage patient expectations, and predict the possibility of cochlear implantation. References1. Upadhyay U, Almefty RO, Dunn IF, Al-Mefty O. Letter to the Editor: Save the nerve. J Neurosurg. 2015;123(3):821-2.2. Dahm V, Auinger AB, Honeder C, Riss D, Landegger LD, Moser G, et al. Simultaneous Vestibular Schwannoma Resection and Cochlear Implantation Using Electrically Evoked Auditory Brainstem Response Audiometry for Decision-making. Otol Neurotol. 2020;41(9):1266-73.3. Patel NS, Saoji AA, Olund AP, Carlson ML. Monitoring Cochlear Nerve Integrity During Vestibular Schwannoma Microsurgery in Real-Time Using Cochlear Implant Evoked Auditory Brainstem Response and Streaming Neural Response Imaging. Otol Neurotol. 2020;41(2):e201-e7.4. Koos WT, Day JD, Matula C, Levy DI. Neurotopographic considerations in the microsurgical treatment of small acoustic neurinomas. J Neurosurg. 1998;88(3):506-12.5. Schwartz N, Rooth MA, Dillon MT, O'Connell BP, Dedmon MM, Huang BY, et al. MRI surveillance following concurrent cochlear implantation in cases of vestibular schwannoma resection. Am J Otolaryngol. 2020;41(4):102518.6. Schwarz-Nemec U, Dahm V, Arnoldner C. Letter to the editor regarding worldwide 1st MED-EL Mi1200 SYNCHRONY cochlear implant magnet removal for MRI image artifact reduction by Wieser et al. Otolaryngology Case Reports. 2019;10(March):43-4.7. Sanna M, Medina MD, Macak A, Rossi G, Sozzi V, Prasad SC. Vestibular Schwannoma Resection with Ipsilateral Simultaneous Cochlear Implantation in Patients with Normal Contralateral Hearing. Audiol Neurootol. 2016;21(5):286-95.8. Roberts S, Levin B, Sanli H, Ferch R, Kong K, Eisenberg R. Simultaneous cochlear implantation and removal of acoustic neuroma: implications for hearing. J Laryngol Otol. 2020;134(6):519-25.9. Grover M, Sharma S, Preetam C, Gupta G, Samdani S, Agarwal S, et al. New SMS classification of cochleovestibular malformation and its impact on decision-making. J Laryngol Otol. 2019;133(5):368-75.10. Plontke SK. An Improved Technique of Subtotal Cochleoectomy for Removal of Intracochlear Schwannoma and Single-stage Cochlear Implantation. Otol Neurotol. 2020;41(7):e891. Patient Demographics ID Age (y) Sex Side 4-PTA WRS @ 80 dB Contralateral 4-PTAC 1 47 f l 77 dB 20% SSD 6 dB 2 59 m r 68 dB 40% AHL 54 dB 3 55 f l 51 dB 5% SSD 20 dB 4 74 m r 85 dB 0% AHL 48 dB 5 42 f l 68 dB 0% SSD 8 dB 6 61 f l 64 dB 30% SSD 5 dB 7 69 f r ³ 100 dB 0% ³ 100 dB 65 dB 8 59 m r 60 dB 0% SSD 21 dB 9 44 m r 74 dB 0% SSD 6 dB 10 55 f r 49 dB 40% SSD 6 dB 11 56 f l ³ 100 dB 0% SSD 10 dB 12 60 f r 87 dB 0% SSD 16 dB 13 44 m l 75dB 0% AHL 55 dB 14 52 f l ³ 100 dB 0% SSD 25 dB 15 56 f l 40 dB 25% SSD 14 dB 16 62 f r 64 dB 0% SSD 20 dB 17 46 f l ³ 100 dB 0% ³ 100 dB 80 dB Total 55.4 (± 8.9 SD) m = 5 f = 12 l = 9 r = 8 74 dB (± 19 SD) 9% (± 15 SD) SSD = 12 AHL = 3 27 dB (± 23 SD) Table 1: Age is given in years (y). Gender is described as f (female) or m (male). Puretone average (4-PTA) is calculated as average decibel (dB) hearing level (HL) at the frequencies 500 Hertz (Hz), 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz and 4000 Hz. Word recognition scores (WRS) are calculated using Freiburg monosyllables at (@) 80 dB HL. Hearing of the contralateral side resulted in the diagnoses of single sided deaf (SSD), asymmetric hearing loss (AHL) or bilateral complete hearing loss larger than 100 dB HL (³ 100 dB). Contralateral 4-PTA = 4-PTAC Scoring System Category Definition Points Koos Grading Koos 4 0 Koos 3 1 Koos 2 2 Koos 1 3 Extension Transmodiolar extension 0 Infiltration of modiolus 1 Contact with modiolus 2 No contact, no infiltration of modiolus 3 Hearing ³ 100 dB 4-PTA 0 80 < 100 dB 4-PTA 1 < 79 dB 4-PTA 2 > 0% monosyllables, any PTA 3 PS EABR No response 0 Unclear wave V 1 Stable wave V 2 Total Score Class IV 0 - 3 Class III 4 - 5 Class II 6 - 8 Class I 9 - 11 Table 2: Scoring system to identify patients with higher chances of nerve integrity in case of VS resection. A certain amount (0-3) of points are given in four categories. Points are added up and patients are categorized to a certain class which reflects the probability of cochlear implantation after translabyrinthine vestibular schwannoma excision. Promontory stimulation eABR (PS EABR) Patient Outcomes ID Koos CI 6-month Follow-up VII 1/2/3/4 yes/no 4-PTA WRS @ 65 dB WRS @ 80 dB HB – POD1 HB – 6 Mo FU 1 2 yes 35 dB 40% 65% 1 1 2 1 yes 30 dB 65% 65% 1 1 3 3 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 5 3 4 3 yes 36 dB 0% 30% 1 1 5 2 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 1 1 6 1 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 1 1 7 2 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 1 1 8 4 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 5 2 9 2 yes 35 dB 0% 20% 1 1 10 2 yes 34 dB 45% 85% 1 1 11 2 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 1 1 12 2 yes 35 dB 10% 45% 2 1 13 2 yes 51 dB n.p. n.p. 1 1 14 1 no n.a. n.a. n.a. 3 1 15 2 yes 33 dB 40% 60% 1 1 16 1 yes 43 dB 20% 40% 1 1 17 2 yes 35 dB 35% 55% 1 1 Table 3: Outcomes of seventeen included patients. The second column shows the size and extension of the vestibular schwannoma according to Koos grading one to four. The third column shows which patients were provided with a cochlear implant (CI) (yes) and which not (no). Column four - Puretone average (4-PTA) in CI aided condition calculated as average decibel (dB) hearing level (HL) at the frequencies 500 Hertz (Hz), 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz and 4000 Hz. Column five and six - word recognition scores (WRS) in CI aided condition are calculated using Freiburg monosyllables at (@) 65 and 80 dB HL. The last two columns show facial nerve function according to House Brackmann (HB) scale 1 to 6 on postoperative day one (POD 1) and at the 6 months follow-up appointment (6 Mo FU). n.p. - not performed due to a language barrier. n.a. – not applicable Applied Point System ID Koos Points Modiolus Audio PS eABR Points CIass CI 1 2 2 3 n.p. ³ 7 £ II yes 2 3 3 3 2 11 I yes 3 1 2 3 2 8 II no 4 1 3 1 2 7 II yes 5 2 2 2 2 8 II no 6 3 1 3 2 9 I no 7 2 0 0 1 3 IV no 8 0 1 2 2 5 III no 9 2 3 2 2 9 I yes 10 2 3 3 2 10 I yes 11 2 1 0 0 3 IV no 12 2 3 1 1 7 II yes 13 2 3 2 2 9 I yes 14 3 1 0 2 6 II no 15 2 3 3 2 10 I yes 16 3 2 2 2 9 I yes 17 2 2 0 2 6 II yes Results 0 - 3 0 - 3 0 - 3 0 - 2 0 - 11 I - IV yes/no Table 4: Point system applied to the presented seventeen patients. Every column represents one of the categories and points given. Koos - Koos classification, Modiolus - extension (in connection to the Modiolus), Audio - audiometric results, summation of pure tone average and word recognition score) and PS eABR - promontory stimulation electrically evoked auditory brainstem response. In total, there are four categories. Points reflects the sum of all points. Class is the resulting group each patient is categorized into, according to amount of points. Patient 1 did not undergo PS eABR, which does not allow for a complete classification. CI – cochlear implant: yes if they were provided with a CI, no if no CI was placed. N.p. – not performed
Objective: To study the profile of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) at the hypopharyngeal-esophageal multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH monitoring (HEMII-pH) and to compare their reflux findings with LPR patients without OSAS. Design: Prospective controlled study. Methods: Patients with LPR and OSAS were prospectively recruited from Augustus 2019 to June 2020. The profile of hypopharyngeal reflux events (HRE) of patients was studied through a breakdown of the HEMII-pH findings over the 24-hour of testing. Reflux symptom score (RSS), gastrointestinal and HEMII-pH outcomes were compared between LPR patients and patients with LPR and OSAS. Multivariate analysis was used to study the relationship between reflux data and the following sleep outcomes: Apnea-Hypopnea Index, Epworth Slippiness Scale (ESS) and paradoxical sleep data. Results: A total of 89 patients completed the study. There were 45 patients with LPR and 44 subjects with both OSAS and LPR. The numbers of upright and daytime HREs and the otolaryngological RSS were significantly higher in patients with LPR compared with those with OSAS and LPR. There was a significant positive association between RSS quality of life score and ESS (p=0.001). The occurrence of HREs in the evening was associated with higher ESS (p=0.015). Patients with OSAS, LPR and GERD had higher number of nocturnal HREs compared with those without GERD (p=0.001). Conclusion: The presence of OSAS in LPR patients is associated with less severe HEMII-pH and ear, nose and throat symptoms. There may have different OSAS patient profiles according to the occurrence of GERD.
Improving clinical practice in ENT: lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemicJames R Tysome, Cambridge University Hospitals, UKEditor-in-Chief, Clinical OtolaryngologyWhile currently in the midst of another wave of COVID-19 infections, putting untold strain on both healthcare systems and healthcare workers around the globe, it is important to reflect on the changes that we have all had to make. All ENT departments, within a very short timeframe, restructured clinical services to prioritise the delivery of patient care to those with the greatest clinical need, while increasing services such as tracheostomy for the high number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care. We also changed the methods that we use to teach our trainees and share knowledge with colleagues. Many of these changes have been successful and should now be maintained in the future.It has been fascinating to see the how the research community built new research networks and redirected focus to projects related to understanding SARS-CoV-2 infection; surveillance and public health measures, optimising patient management of the disease and understanding the impact of COVID-19 on different healthcare systems. This resulted in over 89,000 peer reviewed publications relating to COVID-19 in 2020 and the development of new research structures such as CovidSurg , a global collaborative platform of studies aiming to explore the impact of COVID-19 on surgical patients.1Two papers in this issue demonstrate how clinical practice in ENT adapted to COVID-19. The first explores the publication of guidance relevant to ENT.2 Both national bodies and specialist societies across the globe published guidance on how services should be reconfigured, patients prioritised, and ENT surgeons protected, particularly with respect to aerosol generating procedures given the potential high risk of infection. It is the speed of publication that was particularly impressive. Of the 175 online publications of COVID guidance related to ENT, 41% were published between the third and fourth week of March 2020.The second study explores the impact of this guidance on clinical care through a prospective audit of the management of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess in 86 hospitals across the UK following the publication of guidelines by ENT UK, the professional body representing ENT surgeons in the UK. This provided a pathway that aimed to prevent hospital admission when safe to do so.3 Increased use of single doses of intravenous dexamethasone and antibiotics resulted in return to swallowing in many patients, allowing patients to be discharged safely, without later increases in re-presentation or admission.These studies show the strong clinical leadership has been demonstrated within the ENT community, removing traditional barriers to change. Clinicians have taken the initiative to develop new pathways and new ways of working. An almost overnight change from face-to-face appointments to remote appointments took place in many hospitals, showing how we can adapt when needed. Remote appointments, either by telephone4 or video calls,5 are suitable for many ENT patients, preferred by many and are certainly here to stay.There has been rapid scaling of technology such as digital consultation platforms to enable this remote service delivery. Video conferencing facilitates multidisciplinary team meetings, bringing together clinicians at distant locations to discuss patient management in an efficient manner without the need to spend hours travelling to meet in the same location. Virtual patient consultations can allow sharing of digital information such as imaging without the patient needing to leave their home, reduced footfall in previously over-crowded outpatient departments.New teaching and training opportunities have arisen through the use of digital conferencing platforms, replacing traditional teaching programmes and allowing us to reach larger audiences.6Entire conferences have successfully moved to virtual participation. These opportunities have the potential to significantly enrich training and teaching in the future.We have seen many examples of enhanced local system working. ENT and intensive care teams have needed to work more closely together to manage patients with COVID-19 requiring a tracheostomy.7 It is important that these closer relationships are maintained in the future for patient benefit.The ENT community has demonstrated strong clinical leadership, adaptability to rapid change, enhanced clinical pathways and local networks, widespread use of digital technology for consultation and teaching and redirection of research programmes. These have permanently changed the way we work and, when the current global pandemic improves as COVID-19 infections drop and vaccination programmes are rolled out, we should ensure that the positive changes that have been made are embedded in clinical practice to improve patient care.Globalsurg.org. Covidsurg, NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery [Cited 2020 Jan 18]. Available from https://globalsurg.org/covidsurg/Cernei st al. Timing and volume of information produced for the Otolaryngologist during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. A review of the volume of online literature. Clin Otolaryngol;46(2):???????Smith M, et al. Admission avoidance in tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess: a prospective national audit during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clin Otolaryngol;46(2):???????Sharma S and Daniel M. Telepmedicine in paediatric otorhinolaryngology: lessons learnt from remote encounters during the COVID19 pandemic and implications for future practice. Int J Paediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2020:139:110411.Fieux M, et al. Telemedicine for ENT: effect on quality of care during COVID-19 pandemic. Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis 2020; 137(4):257-261.Herman A, et al. National, virtual otolaryngology training day in the United Kingdom during the COIVD-19 pandemic: results of a pilot survey. J Surg Educ. 2020; S1931-7204McGrath BA, et al. Multidisciplinary guidance for safe tracheostomy care during the COVID-19 pandemic: the NHS National Patient Safety Improvement Programme (NatPatSIP). Anaesthesia 2020;75(12):1659-1670.
The T-graft is a new tool in the armament of structural rhinoplasty. The graft makes it easy to create a well- balanced nasal framework both for beginners and more experienced rhinoplastic surgeons. Due to its multifunctional character the T-graft allows the surgeon to control nasal length as well as nasal tip projection and -rotation. The T-graft is indicated in many anatomical features like in patients with a short nose or heavy soft tissue envelope, but also in patients with under projection of the nasal tip, under- or over-rotation of the nasal tip and deviations of the caudal nasal septum.
Objectives. Sarcoidosis is a multisystemic inflammatory disease with extrathoracic manifestations, most commonly affecting the young and middle-aged, female and black populations. Diagnosis usually requires evidence of non-caseating granulomata and, when treated, prognosis is usually favourable. We aim to establish the incidence, clinical features and optimal treatment of ENT manifestations of this disease. Design. We performed a review of the literature to determine the evidence-base supporting this. Results. ENT manifestations are present in 10-15% of patients with sarcoidosis, often as a presenting feature, and require vigilance for swift recognition and coordinated additional treatment specific to the organ. Laryngeal sarcoidosis presents with difficulty in breathing, dysphonia and cough, and may be treated by Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) or intralesional injection, dilatation or tissue reduction. Nasal disease presents with crusting, rhinitis, nasal obstruction and anosmia, usually without sinus involvement. It is treated by topical nasal or intralesional treatments but may also require endoscopic sinus surgery, laser treatment or even nasal reconstruction. Otological disease is uncommon but includes audiovestibular symptoms, both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, and skin lesions. Conclusions. The consequences of ENT manifestations of sarcoidosis can be uncomfortable, disabling and even life threatening. Effective management strategies require good diagnostic skills and use of specific therapies combined with established treatments such as corticosteroids. Comparisons of treatment outcomes are needed to establish best practice in this area.
• The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has estimated a 70% increase in demand resulting from the 2019 modification to cochlear implant criteria • We modelled the projected increase using our large database of pure tone audiometry results, and adjusted for frailty as a marker of risk of general anaesthesia • Our results suggest an overall 79% increase in demand, with most of this for adult implantation, and in particular for those over the age of 65 • Our findings are important for those planning delivery of cochlear implant services
Key Points • Sepsis is associated with high morbidity and mortality and is a known complication of infections of the head and neck. Screening for sepsis should be conducted on admission in order to identify patients at risk and provide early intervention. • Our audit on an ENT ward in a district general hospital found that sepsis screening is poor, however this can be improved further by education and visual reminders such as poster or a clerking proforma. • The most common head and neck infections admitted to a district general hospital were tonsillitis, peritonsillar cellulitis and peritonsillar abscesses. • The incidence of sepsis as a complication of head and neck infections is very rare if diagnosed according to the updated qSOFA criteria. • Using SIRS criteria may result in falsely high rates of diagnosis of sepsis and may lead to excessive and inappropriate clinical management in patients who could otherwise be managed less aggressively.
Objectives: Epistaxis is the second most common referral to the Ear nose and throat (ENT) department. Frailty, a marker for biological vulnerability, has been shown to increase the risk of haemorrhage, but its impact in epistaxis patients is unknown. We aim to establish the impact of Clinical Frailty score, as well as other established risk factors for epistaxis, on the likelihood of admission in patients presenting to secondary care with epistaxis. Design: Retrospective cohort study Setting: University hospital Otolaryngology department Participants: Adult patients presenting to hospital with epistaxis between March 2019 and March 2020. Main outcome measures: We compare the clinical frailty score of patients admitted with epistaxis to those patients seen and treated same day. Results: 299 epistaxis presentations were identified, of which 122 (30.8%) required admission for further management. Clinical frailty score of ≥4 had an increased odds for admission (OR 3.15 (95% CI:1.94 – 5.16), p<0.001). In the majority of presentations (66.2%), patients were taking either an antiplatelet, anticoagulant or a combination of them. Of these presentations, the use of an anticoagulant (OR: 2.00 (95% CI: 1.20-1.92), p:0.10) and dual antiplatelet (OR: 2.82 (95% CI: 1.02-7.86), p:0.10, p:0.07) demonstrated increased odds of admission. Conclusions: We have shown that frailty increases the risk of admission in adult patients presenting with epistaxis. Frailty is becoming an increasingly apparent independent cause for haemorrhage in the elderly population. Careful consideration of bleeding risks, particularly in frail patients, needs addressing due to the morbidity associated with epistaxis.
Dear Editor,We reviewed the article entitled: “Analysis of reflux as the etiology of laryngeal dysplasia progression through a matched case-control study ”.1 The authors did not find differences in the level of pepsin, enterokinase and bilirubin in laryngeal dysplasia (LD) of patients with malignant transformationversus those without transformation. The involvement of reflux in the development of LD and laryngeal cancers is an important topic and the realization of such a study is important. However, we wish to draw attention to many points.First, it is difficult to know if the included patients with tissue pepsin really suffered from reflux. The detection of pepsin into the tissue means that patients had some pharyngeal reflux events the day before the surgery but cannot confirm the diagnosis. The sensitivity of pepsin detection in laryngeal tissue depends on the technique and the material (antibodies), reaching 75 to 85% depending on the type of reflux (acid versus nonacid).2 Moreover, we have no detailed information about the immunostaining technique, limiting the reproducibility of the protocol. The presence of pepsin into the tissue does not ensure the reflux diagnosis. Thus, for example, it has been showed that the back flow of gastric content and the deposit of pepsin into the tissue are influenced by the meals preceding the sample collection, making the pepsin tissue a poorly reliable marker of reflux.3 To improve the sensitivity, authors1 could have performed hypopharyngeal-esophageal pH-impedance monitoring, which is the only way to confirm the diagnosis.4Second, the LD malignant transformation involves many factors such as tobacco history, environmental factors, genetic, or immune response.5 The authors did not provide information about the tobacco history (pack-year data) of groups, which is an important data to consider the risk of malignant transformation. Even many years after the tobacco cessation, it is conceivable that patients with long/more severe history of tobacco consumption may have more cell mucosa DNA impairments and a higher risk to develop cancer.Third, the focus on pepsin as the only enzyme associated with malignant transformation limits the understanding of transformation mechanisms. More than 50% of patients had mixed or nonacid reflux,4 in which the activity of pepsin is decreased regarding the alkaline pH of refluxate. To reliably investigate the involvement of reflux in the malignant transformation, authors have to consider the entire content of refluxate, including bile salts and trypsin.4 Furthermore, bile salts may be involved in laryngopharyngeal malignant transformation.6In future studies, reflux has to be diagnosed at the LD diagnosis time and physicians have to follow the reflux clinical course over the time. More than 50% of reflux patients had chronic course,4which leads to a potential higher risk to develop cell DNA damage and lesions. Thus, cross-sectional study design is probably not adequate to study a disease association involving chronic and repeated exposure.Acknowledgments: No.