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Stapedotomy is, in our opinion, the technique of choice in stapes surgery. The precision of this technique allows clinicians to perform the surgical procedure in day surgery under local anesthesia.


There is a strong emphasis on increasing the number of elective day surgery cases, especially in the patients’ best interest, as it decreases the likelihood of late cancellation and hospital-acquired morbidity. A prospective study was performed to determine whether stapes surgery for otosclerosis could be performed safely in an outpatient setting.


We present a series of stapes surgery cases for otosclerosis performed on a day-case basis. We performed a classic stapedotomy in 9 patients, a reverse classic step stapedotomy in 2 patients, a partial reverse classic step stapedotomy in 11 patients, and a hemi-stapedectomy in two patients.


Three of 24 patients (12.5%) treated with classic stapedotomy, 1 patient with partial reverse classic step stapedotomy, and 1 patient with hemi-stapedectomy were formally admitted to the hospital after surgery (length of stay, 23 h). The indications were vertigo (two patients) and asthenia (one patient). These patients were treated under general anesthesia. Two of these patients resided more than 250 km away from the hospital.

Ralli G, Mora R, Nola G, Guastini L.

ENT Department, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy.

PMID:22074449 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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This study wants to show the diagnostic value of vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) in the diagnosis of vestibular neuritis (VN), independently of the caloric test results. Twenty patients were enrolled with acute vertigo caused by VN. VEMP was tested with the binaural simultaneous stimulation method. Surface electromyographic activity was recorded in the supine patients from symmetrical sites over the upper half of each sternocleidomastoid muscle, with a reference electrode on the lateral end of the upper sternum. During the acute attack, 8 days, 1 month and 3 months after the beginning of the acute attack, all the patients underwent the following examinations: Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre, Pagnini-McClure manoeuvre, head shaking test, pure-tone audiometry, tympanometry, caloric labyrinth stimulation according to the Fitzgerald-Hallpike method and VEMP. At the last visit, the 11 patients diagnosed with superior branch vestibular neuritis did not show any improvement at the caloric labyrinth stimulation and presented VEMP on both sides with normal amplitude and latency; in the 9 cases diagnosed with inferior branch vestibular neuritis, there was an improvement of the VEMP reflex and normal caloric test. Our experience highlights that VEMP recording is applicable for patients with VN as a screening test.

Nola G, Guastini L, Crippa B, Deiana M, Mora R, Ralli G.

ENT Department, G.B. Grassi Hospital, Ostia, Rome, Italy.

PMID:21448610 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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The impact of dizziness on Quality of Life (QoL) can be assessed by the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), which is used as a discriminative and evaluative tool. Although the DHI is available in several languages, an equivalent version for the Italian population is not yet available. Aim of this study was to translate the DHI into the Italian language (DHI-I), assess its correlation to the Italian version of the Short Form-36 Health Survey and to investigate its reliability in evaluating the QoL of patients with acute dizziness. The study population consisted of 50 patients (76% females and 24% males), mean age 51.6 years, range 25-85 years (SD = 14.5). A cross-sectional design was used to examine the internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) and concurrent validity (Pearson’s product moment correlation r). The application followed the stages of translation from English to Italian and linguistic adaptation, grammatical and idiomatic equivalence review. To confirm the external validity of DHI-I, the Pearson correlation test between the total score and single subscales of DHI-I and the 8 scales of the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) was performed. The Cronbach α coefficients for internal consistency were 0.92 for the DHI-I and 0.82, 0.84 and 0.75 for the sub-scale functional, emotional and physical, respectively. The frequency distribution of no one item showed a percentage higher than 75% in a single possible answer (0, 2, 4), excluding a ceiling or floor effect. Correlations with the total score of DHI-I were consistent and the correlation between total score of DHI-I and total score on SF-36 was -0.593. Of the single subscales, the emotional scale showed a closer correlation with almost all scales of the SF-36. The correlation between the total score of SF-36 and the single sub-scale of DHI-I (functional, emotional, physical) were respectively -0.599, -0.563, -0.398. The DHI was culturally and linguistically adapted for its application in the Italian population. The DHI-I demonstrated a good reliability and is recommended as a measure of disability in patients with dizziness and unsteadiness. According to the DHI-I, patients with acute dizziness and with a clinical diagnosis of vestibular syndrome presented a decreased QoL; the physical aspects were the most compromised.

Nola G, Mostardini C, Salvi C, Ercolani AP, Ralli G.

Operative Unit ENT, “G.B. Grassi” Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Link PMC Article

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Hearing loss is relatively common in mtDNA-related disorders. While auditory function has been assessed fully in the syndrome of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes, few studies have investigated the degree of progressive hearing deficit in individuals bearing other mtDNA mutations. We performed a 4-year clinical and audiological follow up in a family carrying the 8363G>A mutation in the mitochondrial transfer ribonucleic acid lysine (tRNA(Lys)) gene who displayed a progressive neuromuscular disease. In addition to pure tone audiometry, we considered distortion products of otoacoustic emissions, a sensitive indicator of cochlear dysfunction, as well as brainstem auditory evoked responses. A generalized increase in the auditory threshold at follow up, indicating a cochlear impairment in three cases, was noted. Distortion products of otoacoustic emissions may reveal sub-clinical cochlear dysfunction, even in oligosymptomatic patients. A complete and periodical assessment of the hearing function should be encouraged in asymptomatic relatives of patients carrying the tRNA(Lys) 8363G>A mutation.

DiFabio R, Santorelli FM, Nola G, Cricchi F, Masi R, Ingrosso A, Fattori F, Carrozzo R, Vanacore N, Pierelli F, Ralli G, Casali C.

Department of Neurology and ORL, Sapienza University of Rome ICOT, Polo Pontino, 04100 Latina, Italy.

PMID:19233651 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Pediatric deafness is a handicap affecting approximately 2/1000 newborns. Currently, its diagnosis is markedly delayed, since it occurs approximately at 24 to 36 months of age; at this age rehabilitation procedures (i.e., acoustic prosthesis, speech therapy, psychological interventions on the family, or cochlear implants in the most serious situations) are unable to ensure a complete development of both the voice and the speech, thus preventing the full participation of the deaf child in social living. The turning point has taken place when methods and techniques were developed; they are aimed at the very early diagnosis of infantile deafness and are based on the recordings of otoacoustic emissions, that is, acoustic signals of extremely weak intensity originating in the inner ear, which not only is a passive transducer, but is able to generate sounds also. Any lack of or any change in otoacoustic emissions is a accurate index of disabling deafness. The test under study allows to perform selectively a mass screening on newborns (it is carried out 2 or 3 days after birth) since it is definetely non-invasive, it is done very rapidly (a few seconds only), it is cost-effective and higly reliable. The newborn hearing screening is being accepted, at a faster growing pace, by an increasing number of health systems in the whole world.

Saurini P, Nola G, Lendvai D.

Department of Otolaryngology, Audiology and Phoniatrics G. Ferreri La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).

PMID:15368797 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are an objective, non-invasive measure for evaluating outer hair cell (OHC) activity. In this study DPOAEs were measured in 70 patients affected by Meniere’s disease (MD). In addition 58 out of 70 patients performed both an audiometric threshold evaluation pre- and postglycerol administration (i.e. glycerol test) and DPOAEs pre- and post-osmotic drug assumption. The purpose of this combined form of testing was to explore the effects of glycerol on the active non-linear mechanisms of the cochlea. More than 60% of the ears with MD emitted DPOAEs despite the presence of an average hearing threshold level above 40 dB (HTL). Changes in the DPOAE baseline measures were observed in 32.4% of cases after glycerol administration. Patients were divided in four groups according to the different pattern of DPOAEs shown after the glycerol test. In particular, three-quarters of cases showed a significant increase in DPOAE amplitude, one-quarter of patients, who initially did not express DPOAEs, eventually did after intake of the osmotic agent, while no decreased DPOAEs were observed in these series. The different expressions of DPOAEs should be associated with the evolutive phases of MD. In addiction, elucidation of the relationship between DPOAEs and the stages of MD was an outcome of this test.

Cianfrone G, Ralli G, Fabbricatore M, Altissimi G, Nola G.

Department of Audiology, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

PMID:10888348 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Anchored myringoplasty for total perforation with malleus adhesion to the promontory.

Ralli G, Crupi J, Nola G, de Vincentiis M.
University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Otolaryngology, Italy.
PMID: 10764017 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Contralateral ear pathologies are frequently found in patients suffering from acquired cholesteatoma. A retrospective study was performed on 85 pediatric patients and 105 adults surgically treated for acquired middle ear cholesteatoma. All the patients were checked and the otomicroscopic picture photographed and compared in an attempt to gain insight into the pathogenesis and clinical indications by comparing two samplings from different age groups. In both groups the frequency of pathological contralateral ear manifestations was higher than found in the normal population. Similar results were obtained in the two groups and indicate that the same mechanisms come into play in both ears, starting at infancy. The finding of a particularly common association between cholesteatoma and contralateral retraction pockets with sinus cholesteatoma or pars tensa in the pediatric group appears to confirm that tubal dysfunction plays a pathogenic role in the genesis of cholesteatoma. From the practical point of view, systematic preventative measurement of the contralateral ear can lead to a reduction in major surgery and can affect the choice between open or closed tympanoplasty. Moreover, it may also condition the precision and length of the follow-up.

Saggese D, Pirodda A, Palma S, Nola G, Ralli G, Rinaldi Ceroni A.

Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche ed Anestesiologiche, Università di Bologna.

PMID:9658626 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] – LINK
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