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.
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 - 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.
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.
Abstract Background: Evidence showed that the sensation of nasal breathing is related to variations in nasal mucosa temperature produced by airflow. An appropriate nasal airflow is necessary for changing mucosal temperature. Therefore, the correlation between objective measurements of nasal airflow and patient-reported evaluation of nasal breathing should be dependent on the level of nasal airflow. Objectives: To find if the correlation between patient-reported assessment of nasal breathing and objective measurement of nasal airflow is dependent on the severity of symptoms of nasal obstruction or on the level of nasal airflow. Methods: The airway of 79 patients was evaluated using NOSE score and peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF). Three subgroups were created based on NOSE and three subgroups were created based on PNIF level to find if correlation was dependent on nasal symptoms or airflow. Results: The mean value of PNIF for the 79 patients was 92.6 l/min (SD 28.1 l/min). The mean NOSE score was 48.4 (SD 24.4). The correlation between PNIF and NOSE was statistically significant (p=0.03), but with a weak association between the two variables (r=-0.248). Evaluation of correlation based on symptoms demonstrated a weak or very weak association in each subgroup (r=-0.250, r=-0.007, r=-0.104). Evaluation of correlation based on nasal airflow demonstrated a very weak association for the subgroups with middle-level and high PNIF values (r=-0.190, r=-0.014), but a moderate association for the subgroup with low PNIF values (r=-0.404). Conclusions: This study demonstrated a weak correlation between NOSE scores and PNIF values in patients non-selected according to symptoms of nasal obstruction or to airflow. It demonstrated that patients with symptoms of nasal obstruction have different levels of nasal airflow and that low nasal airflow prevents the sensation of good nasal breathing. Therefore, patients with symptoms of nasal obstruction may require improving nasal airflow to improve nasal breathing sensation.
Objectives To report changes in practice brought about by COVID-19 and the implementation of new guidelines for the management of tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess (PTA), and to explore factors relating to unscheduled re-presentations for patients discharged from the emergency department (ED). Design Prospective multicentre national audit over 12 weeks from 6th April 2020. Setting UK secondary care ENT departments Participants Adult patients with acute tonsillitis and PTA Main outcome measures Re-presentation within 10 days for patients discharged from the ED. Results 83 centres submitted 765 tonsillitis and 416 PTA cases. 54.4% (n=410) of tonsillitis cases and 45.3% (187/413) of PTA were discharged directly from the ED. 9.6% (39/408) of tonsillitis and 10.3% (19/184) of PTA discharges re-presented within 10 days, compared to 9.7% (33/341) and 10.6% (24/224) for those initially admitted from ED. The subsequent admission rate of those initially discharged from ED was 4.7% for tonsillitis and 3.3% for PTA. IV steroids were given to 67.0% of tonsillitis patients (n=505/754) and 73.6% of PTA (n=304/413). 77.2% of PTA patients underwent drainage during their initial presentation (n=319/413), but there was no significant difference in re-presentation rate in those drained Vs not-drained (10.6% vs 9.5%, n=15/142 vs 4/42, p=0.846). Univariable logistic regression showed no significant predictors of re-presentation within 10 days. Conclusions Management of tonsillitis and PTA was affected during the initial peak of the pandemic, with a shift towards outpatient care. Some patients who may previously have been admitted to hospital may be safely discharged from the ED.
Objectives: To report changes in practice brought about by COVID-19 and the implementation of new guidelines, and to explore factors relating to unscheduled re-presentations for patients discharged from the emergency department (ED). Design: Prospective multicentre national audit over 12 weeks from 6th April 2020. Setting: UK secondary care ENT departments. Participants: Adult patients with acute epistaxis Main outcome measures Re-presentation within 10 days for patients discharged from the ED. Results: 83 centres from all four UK nations submitted 2,631 valid cases. The majority of cases were ED referrals (89.7%, n=2,358/2,631). 54.6% were discharged from the ED following ENT review (n=1,267/2,322), of whom 19.5% re-presented within 10 days (n=245/1,259) and 6.8% were ultimately admitted (n=86/1,259). 46.7% of patients had a non-dissolvable pack inserted by ED prior to referral to ENT (n=1,099/2,355). The discharge rates for ED patients and their subsequent re-presentation rates were as follows: non-dissolvable packs, 29.5% discharged (n=332/1125), 18.2% re-presented (n=60/330); dissolvable products, 71.1% discharged (n=488/686), 21.8% re-presented (n=106/486); cautery only, 89.2% discharged (n=247/277), 20.0% re-presented (n=49/245); and no intranasal intervention, 85.5% discharged (n=200/234), 15.2% re-presented (n=30/198). Univariable logistic regression showed that not being packed by ED, antiplatelet medications, failed cautery and recent epistaxis treatment were significant predictors of re-presentation within 10 days. Conclusions: Management of acute epistaxis was notably affected during the initial peak of the pandemic, with a shift towards reduced admissions. This national audit highlights that many patients who may previously have been admitted to hospital may be safely discharged from the ED following acute epistaxis.
Introduction; This review discusses how nasal congestion may have benefits as a mechanism of defence against respiratory viruses. Methods; A literature research was conducted on respiratory viruses and nasal congestion, following a recently published review on how temperature sensitivity is important for the success of common respiratory viruses. Results; The literature reported that common respiratory viruses are temperature sensitive and replicate well at the cooler temperatures of the upper airways (32oC), but replication is restricted at body temperature (37oC). The amplitude of the phases of congestion and decongestion associated with the nasal cycle was increased on infection with respiratory viruses and this caused unilateral nasal congestion and obstruction. Nasal congestion and obstruction increase nasal mucosal temperature towards 37oC and therefore restricted the replication of respiratory viruses. Conclusion; Nasal congestion associated with the nasal cycle may act as a mechanism of respiratory defence against infection with respiratory viruses
Purposes: To evaluate the instant auditory benefit of an adhesive bone conduction hearing aid (ADHEAR) on children with bilateral congenital microtia, especially the sound localization ability under unilateral and bilateral fitting. Methods: Twelve patients with bilateral congenital microtia aged from 6 to 17 were included in this study. Pure tone threshold under sound field, speech recognition threshold in quiet and sound localization abilities were tested and compared before and after wearing the device. The pure tone threshold test was additionally repeated for two different wearing method – adhesive or fixed with softband; the sound localization test was repeated for both unilateral and bilateral fitting. Correlation analysis was then conducted to find the influencing factors of sound localization improvement. Results: Significant auditory improvement were found: the average pure tone threshold (PTA) reduced by 24.8 (adhesive) and 27.3 dB HL (softband), with no significant difference between the two wearing methods. The speech recognition threshold also improved by 29.0 dB. As for sound localization abilities, no significant improvement was found under unilateral fitting; but half (6 of 12) of the patients were notably benefited from bilateral fitting. The improvement was found to be strong correlated with the patients’ unaided sound localization ability – those with poorer localization abilities tends to benefit more. Moreover, it was found that the sound localization improvement was also negatively related with the malformation degrees of the patients’ head. Summary: ADHEAR affords significant auditory benefits for children with bilateral congenital microtia, in terms of sound and speech perception. The sound localization abilities could be partly improved instantly by bilateral fitting, and the improvement is related with factors such as adaption and skull malformations.