Sudden sensorineural hearing loss: The question of perilymph fistula

Douglas D. Backous, John K. Niparko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Perilymph fistula (PLF) is an abnormal communication between the fluid-containing spaces of the inner ear and the air-containing spaces of the temporal bone. It can be caused by trauma (penetrating, blunt, acoustic, or barometric), infection, or inflammation, or it can be iatrogenic or congenital. In addition, spontaneous PLF has been proposed but remains a focus of controversy in the otologic community. PLF can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, aural fullness, vertigo, and postural instability, symptoms that overlap substantially with other well-characterized otologic disorders. The difficulty in diagnosis, the subjective nature of intraoperative verification of perilymph leakage, and the irregularity in reporting treatment outcomes have generated substantial confusion regarding the true incidence, management, and acceptance of PLF as a pathologic entity capable of producing acute ear symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalVolta Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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