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Decisive Criteria Between Stapedotomy and Cochlear Implantation in Patients with Far Advanced Otosclerosis

Kabbara, Bilal*; Gauche, Clement*; Calmels, Marie-Noelle*; Lepage, Benoit; Escude, Bernard*‡; Deguine, Olivier; Fraysse, Bernard*; Marx, Mathieu

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000000692

Objectives To describe the hearing outcomes in patients with far-advanced otosclerosis and to identify the best initial approach based on preoperative word recognition scores (WRS), pure tone averages (PTA), and radiological classification.

Study Design Retrospective case review.

Setting Academic neurotology tertiary referral center.

Patients All patients (n = 58) with preoperative air conduction PTA less than 85dB (HL), disyllabic WRS less than or equal to 50% at 60 dB (HL) with well-fitted hearing aids, and evidence of otosclerosis on CT scan, treated in our department over the past 20 years.

Interventions Stapedotomy, cochlear implantation, or both.

Main Outcome Measures Postoperative WRS after a minimum of 12 months’ follow-up, percentage of patients with WRS greater than 50%. Reliability of air and bone conduction PTAs and WRS in predicting failure of stapedotomy.

Results Fifty-eight patients were divided into three groups: group I, primary stapedotomy (n = 32); group II, primary cochlear implantation (n = 9); and group III, secondary cochlear implantation (with a previous history of stapedotomy) (n = 25). The mean postoperative WRS were 50.6% (±34), 75% (±17), and 72% (±20), respectively. Sixty percent of patients in the stapedotomy group had a postoperative WRS greater than 50% requiring no further treatment, compared to 85% for cochlear implant recipients. No specific predictive factors for stapedotomy outcome could be identified. Surgical difficulties during cochlear implantation were significantly higher in patients with advanced radiological stage.

Conclusion Although cochlear implantation gives better overall results, stapedotomy with hearing aids can still be very effective in the management of patients with far-advanced otosclerosis. It should therefore be proposed as a first-line treatment.

*Department of Otology-Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, Purpan University Hospital, Toulouse, France; †Department of Statistics, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France; ‡Department of Neuroradiology, Clinique Pasteur, Toulouse, France; and §Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), CerCo, Toulouse, France

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bilal Kabbara, M.D., Department of Otology-Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, Purpan University Hospital, Place du Docteur Baylac, 31059 Toulouse, France; E-mail:

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

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